Saturday Feb.4th, 2012 at Mandalay Bay Event Center in Las Vegas Nevada UFC: 143 Condit vs. Diaz, the main event! Emotions were high as tempers flared as the two warriors stepped into the octagon both looking crisp, clean, and in perfect shape as their names were being announced.
Nick Diaz is walking around hitting his jaw, getting ready for business with Condit tightening his jaw, looking at his enemy straight in the eyes from across the cage. When the two met in the center to go over the rules their heads collided, in what looked like a schoolyard meeting between ex-boyfriends fighting for a certain girl’s affection, only tonight was all about the chance to fight the champion George St-Pierre and for the interim Welter Weight Title in what looks like the biggest MMA competition ever. No hand shaking tonight. It was war and the air was fueled with anticipation, anger, fear, sweat, and perfume with the thousands fans in attendance.
As the opening bell rang, the two clashed as Diaz was quick to assert his pawing like jab, pursuing Carlos Condit relentlessly. What seemed to be a battle actually turned into a bit more cat and mouse than people were expecting. There were subtle signs that told you both sides of the night’s tale. Diaz’s persistent aggression and Condit’s great movement navigating Diaz in and out of danger steadily, with kicks to Diaz’s thighs and several more attempts to his head and nicely muffling Diaz’s few attempts on take downs.
Condit was as light as a feather on this night weaving his way in and out taking chances and laying the ground work for what seemed like a sure fire game plan with effective body shots and leg kicks. From the outside looking in Diaz appears to be the predator and Condit the prey, but after round two and nothing significant was landing, Diaz resorted to trash talk. I assume because he had no formula to solve the mystery of Carlos Condit and by the 3rd round the fight fell smoothly into Condit’s game plan and had Diaz fighting his fight.
Though it wasn’t easy, Diaz, as a pressure fighter, appeared content with keeping the fight solely to standup often landing strikes, but too little to be very effective. While Condit was dishing out an arsenal of kicks and body shots which really impressed the judges I’m sure, all night continually trying the spinning back hand as if he were an angry pimp looking for his due respect.
The fight looked to be totally in Condit’s hands when at 2:51 of round 4 Diaz decided to try for a takedown with no such luck and paid the price as Condit landed a smooth kick to Diaz’s nose making the Stockton native touch it as if it fell off. A sure sign to the natural born killer that he hurt his persistent adversary, Condit proceeded to get braver and started to land kicks, body shots, jabs, and moving out of harms way in perfect motion as if he had on headphones listening to his favorite chart topper. The man next to me pumped his fist in approval yelling out loud, “he’s on skates!”
At 2:45 of the final round 5, Nick was getting desperate. He was searching for the perfect blow but instead found Condit’s foot square in his face once more. The crowd on its feet as the feeling of something great were to happen suddenly in the last minute and a half, Diaz found a way to get Condit to the ground and quicker than dog to a bone.
Diaz took his back and had his legs firmly wrapped around Condit’s waist in what seemed like a for sure submission via rear naked choke failed. Condit would not be denied on this night. His defense was better than impressive as he got back on his feet. Diaz struck again like a cobra and had Condit’s leg. Just then, Condit takes control of Diaz’s back and in return Diaz flips Carlos over with a display of superhuman-like strength.
The bell sounded and referee Steve Mazzagatti put a halt to the action and the fight was over. Both combatants embrace in a hug and shake hands while getting to their feet. Everyone in the Mandalay Bay Event Center on their feet and cheering.
Now here is where the fight really takes a turn from the norm when MMA announcer Bruce Buffer reads the judges scorecards. One judge had it as much as 4-1 for Condit, victory by Unanimous Decision. He was crowned the UFC Welterweight interim champion and gave a very gracious speech speaking of his game plan. The whole strategy and giving his defeated foe much due respect calling Nick Diaz second to none with wet tears still in his eyes. Then like a grey cloud to a rainy day Nick Diaz all but grabs the mic from Joe Rogan’s hand firmly with both hands he states, “I’m not going to accept this as a loss for me.” He was venomously attacking the judges’ scores stating his belief that he was the hunter and landing the more solid shots but it really came out all wrong. Especially, when he mentioned retirement and really one of the more distasteful rants I’ve heard in quite sometime. Not only was it in poor taste but horrible timing also.
UFC president Dana White had it for Condit, his associate Lorenzo Fertitta had it for Condit, and I myself had it for Condit comfortably, 3 rounds to 2. This isn’t so much a matter of this being a close fight or not, but it’s a coming out party for the winner that is now the interim Champion, Carlos Condit. If he wasn’t a big name in MMA, previously, well now he is. In what was another great night of UFC action in Las Vegas stay tuned MMAniacs, this is Tommy Dangerously signing off until next time…