And the debate rages on.
UFC 143′s main event between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz — which saw The Natural Born Killer take a close decision over Stockton’s finest — has left the MMA community split down the middle, spawning a heated and ongoing argument over who really won the battle and why.
Today on MMAFighting’s The MMA Hour, host Ariel Helwani spoke with both Condit and Diaz’s trainers, Greg Jackson and Cesar Gracie, respectively. Both men obviously felt that their charges won the battle, but Gracie is vehement; he believes that Diaz’s loss proves not only the incompetency of MMA judging, but is also proof of its purveyors’ personal bias.
“I don’t think the judges like Nick,” said Gracie. “He comes off, he talks in the ring… Carlos was running at one point, and Nick slapped him in the face said, ‘Quit running.’ We were there for a dogfight. Carlos said he’d provide for the fans a dogfight, a great fight where they were going to go at it. That was not a dogfight. It takes two to make a dogfight. One guy running away is not a dogfight. I don’t know what the judges were looking at. They’ve never liked Nick in Vegas. They’ve never voted for him in a decision. The only one was the BJ Penn fight, and he almost had to kill BJ to get that one. I don’t think they like his attitude, a guy that’s going to go out there and talk. I think they think he’s disrespectful. They’re going to find a reason to judge against him. I don’t think he can get fair judging in that state at all.”
Though Gracie was complimentary of Condit as a person and fighter, he was heavily critical of the game plan he employed at the advice of his coaches. To Gracie, Condit’s elusive attack is another example of the Greg Jackson camp employing a strategy that sees its fighters win through safety and avoidance rather than real fighting and aggression.
“It’s one thing to avoid standing in the pocket, it’s one thing to know how to dodge punches and kicks, and be somewhat elusive and have great defense,” he said. “It’s another thing to turn your back and run from a fighter. That’s completely different. You shouldn’t be telling your fighter to fight like that. I think it’s a disgrace and a shame. I’ve said this before: I don’t like that camp. I’m not going to take that back.”