UFC 137: Breaking Down the Hypothetical Condit-Diaz Fight
Carlos Condit has recently said that he would prefer to fight Nick Diaz over Georges St. Pierre. Even though that's incredibly obvious, I think that this fight just might happen if they both win their next fights.
Of course, they could also both lose as Diaz and Condit are facing GSP and BJ Penn, respectively, at UFC 137. Those two are arguably top-three in the welterweight division, so they definitely have a tough test in front of them.
But regardless of which scenario of the two realistically happens, they just might fight each other afterwards.
This is my breakdown of the hypothetical fight.
Both fighters have been known to have very powerful yet still very skilled striking abilities. However, they are both extremely different with their stand-up styles.
Nick Diaz is a boxer first and foremost, and has even competed in professional boxing before. Most consider him among the best boxers in the sport. However, while it gets the job done, it is among the sloppiest and least technical boxing I've seen from a fighter who gets talked about as much as him.
He has good power in his hands, but I think a legitimately technical boxer would probably be able to pick him apart. However, one of his biggest advantages is that he is a southpaw, which tends to throw most fighters off.
Carlos Condit, however, has a significantly more well-rounded striking style. He mixes up all of his strikes pretty equally and loves to use his knees to catch fighters off-guard (see: Dong Hyun Kim's face after their fight).
With strong kickboxing and Muay Thai skills, I expect that Carlos would be clearly more capable of mixing up his strikes. He has also shown a lot of power in his hands and has 13 knockout wins in his career.
Most were TKO's due to rocking a fighter and just pounding at them for extended periods of time. However, his fights with Dong Hyun Kim and Dan Hardy -- both are fighters who have never been knocked out before or since -- show he has some of the best one-hit knockout power in the division.
Due to his mixed striking and the crazy power in his fists, I believe Condit is the leader here.
Neither of these guys are really wrestlers, so I think I think it would be fair to call that a draw. So, let's focus more on Jiu-Jitsu.
Most people would look at this and think this is hands-down Diaz, right? He is, after all, a black belt student under the tutelage of the Gracies.
If you didn't know, being trained by them is to Jiu-Jitsu as being trained by Muhammad Ali (don't be nitpicky; obviously not present-day) is to boxing. They are the best people to train you in the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Earth..
However, much to my surprise, only 8 of his 25 wins were by submission, with very few of those coming against fighters posessing good Jiu-Jitsu skills. There is no denying he has good Jits, but it's not as incredible as people make it seem if you look at his past fights.
Another thing that kind of shocked me, Carlos Condit has 13, of his 26 wins by submission, equal to his knockouts. I was definitely not expecting it since recently, he has been more of a KO fighter.
But when he first began, 9 of his first 12 wins as a professional fighter were via some form of submission. He is only a purple-belt in Jiu-Jitsu, but he has shown in his fights that he is a great submission expert.
Despite this, I have to be realistic here and give Nick Diaz the advantage. It isn't as huge of a difference as most would expect, but you have to figure he would have the advantage in that grappling department.
If you're going to look at chins first, everyone knows that Nick Diaz has a stellar chin. He has only been finished by strikes twice. The first time, nine years ago, was a TKO, and the second, four years ago, was a doctor's stoppage. If he had his way, he surely would have continued in that fight, blood and all.
He has fought such heavy-handed and skilled strikers as Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley, Scott Smith, KJ Noons, and Chris Lytle. In 27 MMA wins, Daley has 20 knockouts. Lytle didn't have many knockouts in MMA, but was 13-1-1 in boxing, with 7 knockouts.
Between kickboxing and regular boxing, Noons was 23-4, with 14 knockouts. In MMA, eight of his 10 wins have come by knockout. That's a legitimate who's-who of strikers by whom Diaz has not only not been knocked out, but also beaten.
However, Carlos Condit has never been finished by strikes, by any means.
He has shown his stellar chin in defeating such powerful fighters as Dan Hardy, Rory McDonald, John Alessio, Dong Hyun Kim, and Jake Ellenberger. The only fighter on that list that Condit didn't finish was Jake Ellenberger, who he beat by Split Decision.
This is close, but due to the higher level of dangerous strikers that Diaz has fought, he has the razor-thin advantage in this category as well.
Heart and Desire to Win Through Adversity
This is a very interesting category that is usually tough to evaluate with fighters, especially ones as dominant as these.
Diaz has shown great heart and ability to come back through adversity in his fights, and he most recently showed it against Paul Daley. Daley is generally regarded as having just about the fastest hands at 170, and arguably the best knockout power. So when these two clashed, sparks were sure to fly...and fly they did.
Daley had rocked Diaz in the first minute of the fight, and was trying to put him away, but was simply too erratic with his strikes and failed to connect on the majority of them. Once Diaz got up, you could tell the fire was burning in him as he started to fight back and was probably winning the round when he was rocked yet again.
Luckily, Daley failed to finish once more and the fight was stood-up. Immediately after, Diaz would connect on a number of punches and Daley fell back across the octagon. Diaz jumped on him immediately, and finished Paul via TKO.
Condit, too, showed great heart in adversity in his fight against Rory McDonald.
In a fight where he was being essentially dominated the first two rounds, he fought his way back in the third and came out extremely aggressive. After one of the most exciting fights I've ever seen, he got MacDonald on the ground and pounded him until the referee stopped the fight.
This is one of the closer categories, and I find it pretty much impossible to choose. Therefore, I'd call this a tie, with maybe a slight advantage toward Diaz for having more comeback wins.
I see this fight being a stand-up war, since that is almost always the result of two high-level grapplers going against each other. Even if it does hit the ground, I think Diaz will be on his back, and Condit knows better than to stay in Nick's extremely active full guard.
Both are very skilled fighters when standing, but I think The Natural Born Killer just has a much more technical striking style and knows how to handle aggressive fighters.
He has the power to knock Diaz out -- or at least do a lot of damage -- and the skill to hit with more accuracy than most fighters. He is aggressive, but not too aggressive that he will get too excited and miss his opportunity to finish.
He has the chin to outlast Nick's punches, and everything I've already mentioned to hold the advantage standing.
I see this fight ending in one of three ways:
First, it could end with a unanimous decision for Condit. He may lose round one, but I think that he will win the final two, without a doubt. I think he picks him apart standing up for the 30-27 decision win.
Second, it could end by a doctor's stoppage. Diaz is very prone to bleeding when he gets hit, and trust me, he would be hit hard and often against a fighter like Condit. He doesn't defend very well when he gets excited and tries to stand and bang.
Carlos also likes to use his elbows and knees, which everyone knows cause more bleeding than punches, so that could happen. If it does, I think it'll be stopped in the intermission between the second and third rounds.
Lastly, Condit could knock him out. As I mentioned earlier, he knocked out Kim, who has a great chin. Before that, he knocked out Dan Hardy with a hard left and remains the only fighter ever to knock him out. In almost every fight in which I've seen Hardy take part, he's barely ever even been rocked, so much as knocked out like that.
It's already happened to Diaz, and if Daley were more careful with his strikes, it almost assuredly would have happened again. If this fight were to happen, I think it would be very dangerous for Nick. I think this is the least likely option, but it definitely could happen against a striker of Condit's caliber.
In the end, I'd have to say that Condit would win this one by decision. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts on the article and/or your expectations of this fight as well.
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