Defense is an underrated aspect of mixed martial arts. That's unless you're a judge.
Carlos Condit picked his spots and had Nick Diaz whiffing with his punches for much of the night at UFC 143. His strategy and executed resonated with the judges, who scored it 4-1, 4-1 and 3-2 in favor of the new UFC interim welterweight champ. But Condit's ring generalship didn't go over well with many fans.
Here's sampling of tweets from fights fans who thought Condit simply ran the entire night.
Condit didn't see it that way.
"I was pretty confident that I had won the fight. I landed a lot of effective strikes. I stuck to my gameplan. I did what I went in there to do. I punched him in the face. Kicked him in the face. You know, landed more effective strikes than he did in the fight," Condit said. "That's what it boiled down to. If I sat there and fought Nick Diaz's fight, it'd probably be him sitting here with this belt instead of me."
UFC president Dana White agreed.
"The fans are mad about the way Carlos Condit fought ... too [expletive bad]. You're mad at the way he fought? He went in there and he fought a great fight," White said. "He stuck to his gameplan. Nick Diaz is the master of getting you to fight his fight. [...] Carlos Condit kept his cool tonight. He fought a perfect fight."
Condit said when did Diaz did catch him, the shots were weak.
"They weren't all that effective. For the most part, if he did hit me with anything, it was kind of past the power zone. They didn't have a lot on them," said Condit.
Condit thought his kicks paid dividends later in the fight.
"Chopping his legs and affecting his mobility from the very start was working," Condit said. "You don't see the effects of that until later on in the fight. But he stopped coming forward on me."
As Diaz began to talk trash, Condit also stayed under control. He recalled one funny line when Diaz responded to one of the 10-plus spinning backfists and elbows that Condit threw his way.
"We're throwing spinning [expletive] now?," Condit said repeating what Diaz said in the cage. Condit wasn't about to play Diaz's mind games.
"I planned for that. I knew that I to be mentally prepared as well as physically prepared to face Nick Diaz," Condit said. "That's something I had in my mindset as well as the talking and the taunts and stuff. I just needed to stay focused and execute my gameplan. No matter what he said or no matter how many punches he took from me, I couldn't let my focus stray."
What's next for Condit is anyone's guess. The fighter and promotion were non-committal on when he gets back in the Octagon. The champ Georges St-Pierre is hoping for a November return from ACL surgery. Nine months is a long time for the top of the 170-pound division to stay dormant.
- Carlos Condit
- Nick Diaz