Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit's skills could not be any more identical.
Possessing both aggression and resiliency, the two welterweight contenders are set to square off in a pivotal bout to determine the UFC interim welterweight champion at UFC 143, while current titleholder Georges St-Pierre rehabilitates a knee injury.
Diaz impressed fans with his three-round affair with B.J. Penn at UFC 137, where fans caught a glimpse of just how technical and effective the Stockton, Calif. native's style can be. The victory has earned him a title shot, not against St-Pierre, but he was lined up with Condit instead.
Meanwhile, Condit has proved to carry the same killer instinct as Diaz, boasting a more diverse display of striking, and he owns two Knockout of the Night honors in his past three bouts.
Both competitors' skill sets and urgency will likely set the tone for an exciting, competitive matchup, but the real challenge lies ahead in facing St-Pierre.
The champion has openly admitted his desire to face Diaz, as he feels it is a more marketable fight that will draw a lot of fans, but it doesn't necessarily deem the former Strikeforce welterweight champion the rightful challenger.
Diaz's high volume of strikes and superior cardio certainly break down his opponents, but his style is too one-dimensional and easy to adapt to for the cerebral champion. The key for Diaz lies in whether he'd be able to efficiently defend off of his back while St-Pierre successfully lands takedowns and is consistently in top position. And considering how dominant and strategic the champion is, the bout would be fairly one-sided.
However, Condit is a more versatile fighter and is much less predictable than Diaz.
Condit likes to maintain distance so that he is able to find openings and land leg kicks, as well as a variety of strikes, to damage his opponent and end the bout. Again, Condit would have to remain active from his guard to avoid St-Pierre's top control and superior grappling, but he brings more tools to the potential bout.
Diaz's style might be just as effective as Condit's, but Condit possesses a more well-rounded game that presents more of a challenge for St-Pierre. It might not be as marketable, but it is a better matchup stylistically and one that St-Pierre desperately needs—especially when he has essentially cleaned out the welterweight division.