UFC 137: Why Carlos Condit Is a Worthy Replacement for Nick Diaz

Michael MagoulisCorrespondent IJune 3, 2016

Carlos Condit isn't going to have the same name recognition as Nick Diaz. He may not drive pay-per-view sales as well and he may not say all the controversial things Diaz would to hype a fight beforehand.

"The Natural Born Killer" is a soft-spoken, respectful veteran of the sport. He says all the right things and never talks trash. He won't be removed from a card for not showing up to press conferences and won't be testing positive for marijuana post-fight.

According to MMA Mania, after receiving the news, Condit stated:

"The timing was perfect for this to all come together. First I want to thank the UFC for allowing me this opportunity and also my agent Malki Kawa who saw an opening and took advantage of it. With me already fighting on that card, I will need to make some adjustments to get ready for a new opponent, but my actual training is still right on schedule. It's an honor to be able to fight for the championship, especially against one of the legends of our sport in Georges St-Pierre. I've been fighting for nearly a decade and there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears that has gone into that. A lot of sacrifices have been made both personally and professionally, and I'm looking forward to showing the UFC that I am deserving of this opportunity."

Is that something you could ever imagine Nick Diaz saying? The first thing he said upon getting a title shot was claim that St. Pierre was ducking him. 

Condit may not draw the same attention as Diaz, but he should and will pose just as much of a threat to St. Pierre.

Both Condit and Diaz are well-rounded fighters. They have excellent ground games and excellent striking. Both are ranked just behind Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch and Jake Shields.

And while Nick Diaz is on a 10-fight winning streak, the quality of opponents he's faced, except for perhaps Paul Daley, hasn't been nearly as impressive as Condit's. Condit has won 12 of his last 13 and his last four wins have been over Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim.

Diaz is known for his exciting fights, but Condit deserves that reputation as well. Diaz is 25-7 with only four of his wins coming via decision. "The Natural Born Killer," however, is 27-5 with just one win in his entire career coming via decision. 

His fights with Martin Kampmann and Jake Ellenberger were two of the most exciting of the year.

He's won Fight of the Night and Knockout of the Night awards. 13 of his fights have ended by submission and 13 by knockout—you don't get more well-rounded than that.

The sport needs people like Chael Sonnen and Nick Diaz, but people like Carlos Condit deserve that same respect—if not more.

Nick Diaz has the talent to be in the UFC, but he needs to be willing to do all the other things involved with being a professional mixed martial artist—interviews, press conferences and, most importantly, not pissing off Dana White.

The only issue with giving this fight to Condit is that it leaves B.J. Penn without an opponent and it's not exactly clear if White is willing to keep Diaz on the card.

Jon Fitch mentioned to MMA Nation that he'd be "ready and willing to fight either B.J. Penn or Nick Diaz." Fitch, however, is coming off of major shoulder surgery and was just cleared to begin training again recently.

Aside from the B.J. Penn problem, it's clear that Condit deserves this opportunity and his resume is just as impressive as Diaz's. 

Diaz brings the controversy and the hype, but Condit is just as exciting and just as much of a threat to Georges St. Pierre.