The Diaz-Condit fight is such a good fight. It will go down as one of the best fights ever. First, Diaz is such fun to watch, and he always delivers. But so does Condit.
Condit is awesome. He's got a bunch of bonuses of the night, and he is the one guy I can think of besides Georges St-Pierre, who can keep up with the conditioning that Diaz has. Condit never backs down.
Condit beats a lot of guys just because he puts so much pressure on them – which is exactly what Diaz is known for. It's an awesome fight. They are going to get it on, and get after it non-stop.
People really want to see the fight, but it isn't evoking emotion in people, because this was originally George's fight. And when that happens and there is a change of plans, it changes things a little. But rest assured, they are both going to be big stars after Saturday. But what we do have now is a great, great fight.
Both Diaz and Condit (27-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) are on the trajectory leading to an eventual clash with the division's perennial champ Georges St-Pierre, but first up is the interim title bout which will decide who gets that opportunity to vie for his coveted crown.
Although Diaz (26-7-1NC MMA, 7-4 UFC) is currently riding an 11-fight winning streak including a recent win over two-division titlist B.J. Penn, Sonnen is siding with "The Natural Born Killer" believing he has the requisite tools in his arsenal to defeat the Cesar Gracie fighter by either knockout or decision.
It's really hard to pick. I lean towards Condit. Condit was the favourite on the betting lines, and he's not any more. It's a very close fight. Diaz has a lot of mystique around him right now, and a lot of people are leaning toward him, perhaps more of those are fans than insiders, but a lot of people in the sport, in the locker room, are saying 'fair enough Diaz has not lost in a long time, but Condit's skill set can beat him'. And I'm with them on that.
Could Condit knock Diaz out? "Yes, he could. But I always base my bet on who wins if it goes to decision, and Condit could win a decision in this one. If this thing gets grimy and tough, bitter and gruelling, who can hang in there longer? You'd normally say Diaz would do that, but Condit is the one guy who will not back down. He's not going to get tired, he's not going to quit. He never has. For me, Condit gets this one.
UFC 143 is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2012, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev.
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