No one can be sure who will win at UFC 143 in the main event between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz. Both men seem to go for the kill in their fights whether they remain standing or fight on their feet, and either one could land a knockout punch or find the opening for the submission at any moment.
But just because Diaz or Condit could land a strike that knocks his opponent doesn't mean that they are evenly matched in the stand up department.
That is because Condit is the better striker.
A better way to put it is that Condit is the more precise striker.
In each of Diaz's fights he has used his boxing to beat his opponents down and take them out. The angles he has used are excellent and he maximizes his reach and height which puts most of his victims outside of their range and squarely in his.
The problem is that unlike Paul Daley who is shorter then Diaz by several inches, and KJ Noons who is shorter then Diaz by a few inches, and also fights as a lightweight, Condit has the size and mass to match the Stockton native.
And Unlike Daley, Noons or Diaz he has something else.
He is patient.
In Condit's fight with Hardy it wasn't the fact that he was more powerful that he won. It was that he calmly traded strikes and slipped into Hardy's range without the other fighter even noticing. Hardy was so intent on throwing punches that he didn't even realize he was getting sucked into fighting at Condit's range.
The same thing happened when Condit fought Rory McDonald. McDonald had the fight won, but got tired and Condit used the small opening to take him out.
Diaz is a clever fighter, but his willingness to take chances in fights likes his bout with Daley will leave him open.
In the match with Daley, Diaz was willing to trade punches and almost got taken out by the smaller fighter because of his willingness to trade. In the end Diaz used his grit and size to win, but he almost lost because of it.
Condit won't make the same mistakes that Daley did and knows how to finish fights in a more surgical manner then Daley does.
That isn't to say that Diaz couldn't knock Condit out. He could land a great punch and take his opponent out of the fight.
It is possible, but it his reckless attitude that limits his superior boxing and will leave him open to Condit's punches, kicks and knees which will find the openings where they can land.
It is also possible that if the fight hits the ground Diaz will use his superior Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to submit Condit. Any of these possibilities exist.
But the longer the fight stays standing, the better Condit's chances are of winning.
Because he is willing to wait for his opening instead of just swinging for the fences.
Matthew Hemphill writes for the MMA and professional wrestling portion of Bleacher Report. He also hosts a blog elbaexiled.blogspot.com which focuses on books, music, comic books, video games, film, and generally anything that could be related to the realms of nerdom.