Even though Nick Diaz lost the match that would ultimately determine the No. 1 contender for the welterweight title, he will still be awarded a title fight with Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158 in Montreal. GSP has cited “unfinished business” as the primary reason he is giving Diaz a shot at his belt. While there are obviously a number of other factors that contribute to Georges’ decision to fight Nick (namely that Georges knows he can beat him), there is one person who should possibly be given a lot of the credit for Nick being given his coveted fight with St. Pierre: Carlos Condit.
When Carlos Condit fought Nick Diaz at UFC 143, the contest resulted in a very controversial unanimous decision win for Condit. Carlos clearly landed enough strikes to impress the judges and earn the decision, but way too many people still thought this match was razor thin in terms of who did the best job controlling the pace of the fight and imposing his will on his opponent.
A large amount of fans would argue that Diaz won the whole thing altogether. No matter how many leg kicks or straight punches Condit hit him with, Diaz still pushed forward in such a threatening fashion, that it always seemed that he was just one flurry away from ending the fight. The decision was unanimous, but anyone who watched the fight will recall Diaz connecting with a decent amount of punches and coming dangerously close to securing a rear naked choke in the fifth round.
It looks like Carlos didn’t win in a very definitive manner. It’s unquestionable that he had more successful punches, kicks and knees than Nick Diaz, but the fact is, he won because he out-pointed his opponent. Diaz wasn’t out-classed, overwhelmed or proven to be not worthy of top contender status in the welterweight division.
Basically, it can be said that Nick Diaz didn’t really lose that fight.
Therefore, his spot as a No. 1 contender wasn’t exactly taken from him. It’s almost like the fight never even happened.
This brings up the question of whether or not Nick Diaz would still have gotten his title shot if Carlos Condit had won their fight in a much more definitive manner.
What if Condit had knocked Diaz out, or at least come close to making the referee stop the fight due to strikes on one or more occasions? What if he drew a significant amount of blood from Diaz, or just attempted to overwhelm him with a series of vicious Muay Thai-influenced attacks?
The point is, if Carlos Condit really put a beating on Nick Diaz and showed the world that he wasn’t ready for a title shot, there is a chance that Georges St. Pierre wouldn’t view Diaz as a threat to his superiority and would no longer feel the desire to fight him.
This is why Carlos Condit’s failure to gain a definitive victory over Nick Diaz may be a big part of the reason Georges St. Pierre still considers Diaz a competitor he must defeat if he wants to say he has beaten the very best in the welterweight division.
As entertaining as Condit’s fight with Diaz was, the result did not give GSP the direct impression that the loser did not deserve a title shot sometime in the near future. Diaz showed the world that he could hang with one of the most dangerous strikers to ever grace the division and that was enough to inspire GSP to crave a one-sided victory over Diaz that Condit just could not achieve.
The job of the champion is to make anyone who crosses him feel defeat like they never have before. It's what Benson Henderson did to Nate Diaz, and what Jon Jones did to just about everyone who has tried to take his title.
Thanks to the way Diaz vs Condit transpired, GSP believes only he has the power to truly dominate Diaz and leave no room for questioning as to who is the better man in the end.
So, when we see Nick Diaz stand across from Georges St. Pierre at UFC 158, it won’t just entirely be because of trash talk or a long-time feud. It will also be because Carlos Condit did not do all he could to make sure he didn’t leave it in the hands of the judges at UFC 143.