The UFC 143 main event battle between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit has set off a firestorm of debate over what makes for winning a fight and which fighter rightfully deserves to be wearing the interim welterweight strap.
Those in favor of Diaz believe his pressure, aggressiveness and the perceived impact of his blows make him the fight’s deserved victor, while Condit backers see The Natural Born Killer’s evasive attack and Diaz’s perceived inability to adjust to it — not to mention the fact that he out-landed Diaz — as proof the judges made the right call.
Condit’s coach, Greg Jackson, spoke with USA Today recently to give voice to the the latter argument; defending the notion that Condit’s shots were ineffective and asserting that the fighter’s ability to avoid Diaz’s strengths was a thing of beauty.
“I didn’t even know that was an argument,” Jackson said in response to Condit’s strikes being ineffective or soft. “I guess they’re wrong because they hurt a lot. If you need evidence of the proof of that, you can see Nick’s output and his pace (were) much slower than he usually is, especially by that third round. Leg kicks, the way Carlos was throwing them, hurt. Head kicks, the way he would kick him in the head, hurt. Punches and spinning elbows hurt.
“If you don’t believe Carlos hits hard, you can look at all the knockouts that he’s done,” he continued. “Or you could come over and allow him to kick you in the leg and see how much of it you can take. If it’s actually an argument that Carlos doesn’t hit hard, I would have to say that the record would clearly negate that, if that indeed is a legitimate argument.”
In Jackson’s eyes, Condit negated the very impressive strengths of an incredibly skilled fighter in Diaz to implement his own attack, evidencing a game plan well executed.
“Nick’s thing is this: He moves forward very well and if he gets you where your back is to the cage, man, he starts opening up and just landing these beautiful combinations. I love watching him work. He goes high and low and switches. Even his subtle head movements and stuff. He’s very, very good when your back is to the cage,” Jackson lauded. “It’s just like in boxing too. Some boxers will kind of throw you up against the ropes and really start rocking and rolling on you. So when you’re fighting a guy like that, you’ve got to get off of the ropes, so to speak, and then run back to the middle of the cage.
“So that’s what Carlos would do. Every time he would get there, we’d have him bail, exit out, get in the middle of the cage, and then get off first and start the process all over again,” he explained. “Meanwhile, in that process, the FightMetric numbers clearly show that during that time, when Carlos would control where and when the engagement would happen, Carlos had the significant striking advantage there. So the game plan worked very well.”