The UFC officially announced this week that two of the sport’s top welterweight contenders will vie for the interim 170-pound title. Nick Diaz, a fiery and unpredictable southpaw riding an 11-fight win streak, will battle the division’s most fearsome knockout artist, Carlos Condit, when the UFC returns to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 4.
“With GSP out for 10 months, we are going to have Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit fight to crown an interim welterweight champion,” UFC President Dana White said. “I’ve had my differences with Nick, but he is a fighter through and through. The one thing I can guarantee is that come fight night, he is going to throw down. We all saw that in his last performance against BJ Penn. Carlos Condit is no different. He’s knocked out his last three opponents and believes he is the best fighter in the division. I get goose bumps just thinking about this fight!”
Nicknamed “The Natural Born Killer,” Carlos Condit is a 27-year-old former WEC champion with four straight wins, three of which came by way of knockout. A pupil of renowned trainer Greg Jackson, Condit (27-5) now has the chance to fulfill a lifelong goal of winning the UFC welterweight title. He’s also motivated by the chance to fight one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound best.
“Ever since I began my career in mixed martial arts, it has been my goal to be a UFC champion,” Condit said. “Upon hearing the news that I would be fighting for the interim welterweight title, I cannot begin to describe the mix of emotion that came over me. I am thankful to have such an opportunity. This will be the biggest fight of my career and I am ready to show that I am deserving of it.”
During his reign as STRIKEFORCE welterweight champion, Nick Diaz defeated archrival KJ Noons and finished both Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley en route to becoming the organization’s best 170-pound fighter. Returning to the UFC with his destruction of Penn last October, Diaz – whose brother Nate is also a UFC competitor – looks to knock off Condit and secure his first UFC world title.
“Nick is a great fighter,” admitted Condit. “He’s also a hungry and motivated fighter. Both of us want to be the champion more than anyone could imagine. I look forward to training for the challenges that he will present in the Octagon. We both have aggressive styles, and that should provide for an entertaining fight for both the UFC and the fans.”
Tickets for UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit are now on sale at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com.