During a recent appearance on HDNet’s Inside MMA with Kenny Rice and Bas Rutten (you can check out the video below), renowned MMA trainer Greg Jackson briefly broke down the Nick Diaz-Carlos Condit interim welterweight title fight that is slowly approaching on the horizon.
“You know, Diaz is so tough, and he’s really turned it on this last year or two. He’s looked amazing. Carlos has too, so I think it’s going to be a real barnburner with those two guys,” said Jackson, who coaches Condit. “They’re just both tough as nails and I’m expecting a huge five round war. I’d like it to go short in our favor but Nick’s so tough, it’s going to be a big five round war.”
Considering how often they finish their respective opponents, it’s understandable at first glance to predict a finish from either man inside the distance of their five round tilt, but, when given a second look, things start to unpack a little differently.
Carlos Condit has been finished three times in his professional career, each time by submission (which could play well into Diaz’s strategy) and with the last time occurring in 2006 against Pat Healy. Rephrased, Condit was last finished inside the distance almost six years ago and has never been finished by KO or TKO. In fact, since that fight with Healy, Condit has only lost once, a close split decision to Martin Kampmann in 2009.
Contrast that with Nick Diaz, who has been finished twice in his career, both times by TKO. The first time, which went down in 2002 against Jeremy Jackson (a loss he later avenged), was a flash knockdown that Jackson capitalized on in what was only Diaz’s fifth professional fight. The second came against KJ Noons in 2007 and also marks Diaz’s last loss. The bout with Noons was halted due to cuts, something that Diaz has undergone scar tissue removal surgery in order to prevent from happening again down the line.
So, what you have in this fight are two gritty, technically proficient fighters with strong finishing instincts that are very much not prone to being finished themselves. Sure, Diaz could submit Condit or Condit could knock Diaz down with a hard shot, to eventually finish him off with ground and pound, but either of those – and any other scenarios involving a finish within the distance – seem more unlikely than a five-round scrap.
And what a five-round scrap it would be.