Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
For the first time in almost three years, a UFC welterweight title bout won't have Georges St. Pierre as one of the contestants. Due to GSP's injury, an interim title will be up for grabs in the main event of UFC 143, and what a main event it is. On one side you have one of the most interesting personalities in the game, and his skills in the cage match his unpredictability outside it. On the other side, you have a guy that almost always finishes fights and has heart for days. Ex-Strikeforce champ vs. ex-WEC champ. (26-7, 1 NC, 7-4 UFC) and Carlos Condit (27-5, 4-1 UFC) face off for the title.
Diaz is ranked at number two at welterweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Condit is currently holding down the number four position. The winner of this bout will cement themselves in the two slot and will likely be meeting GSP in the summer to unify the belts. This welterweight fight will be the main event of the night, and will be aired live on pay-per-view. The PPV broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
How do these two stack up?
Diaz: 28 years old | 6'1" | 76" reach
Condit: 27 years old | 6'2" | 76" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Nick Diaz has been competing in MMA for over a decade, and has picked up titles in three different organizations along the way. After winning the WEC welterweight title (a belt Condit later held) way back at WEC 6 and defending his IFC title, Diaz was invited to compete in the UFC. He went 6-4 in his first run overall, engaging in incredible fights with the likes of Karo Parisyan and Diego Sanchez. After he left the UFC of his own accord, he dropped to lightweight and fought Takanori Gomi in one of the best fights of all time. He won by gogoplata, but tested positive for marijuana and the fight was ruled a no-contest. Following an uneven stint at lightweight in EliteXC, he moved back to 170 in Strikeforce and went on a tear, picking up their title and winning all six of his bouts in the organization. By then Diaz was immensely popular, and was brought into the UFC to face Georges St. Pierre at UFC 137. However, he famously missed two press conferences and lost his shot at the title, instead having to fight legend and friend B.J. Penn. A decision win over Penn set up another bout with GSP, but St. Pierre blew out his knee and Diaz will have to face Condit for the interim title now.
Carlos "The Natural Born Killer" Condit has been around the sport of MMA just as long as Diaz has, coming up in the southwest regional circuit and making his bones in Hawaii and Japan. His first taste of notoriety was at the Rumble on the Rock welterweight tournament in Hawaii in 2006, where he made it all the way to the finals before dropping a decision to Jake Shields. A loss in his next bout to Pat Healy seemed to light a fire under Condit, and he has won 12 of his last 13 boths since then. He debuted in the WEC in early 2007, and quickly scooped up their welterweight title. Carlos managed to defend the belt three times before he was brought into the UFC to face Martin Kampmann. He lost an incredibly close split-decision in one of the more underrated bouts in UFC history but cemented his spot in the organization with his performance. He had close calls in his next two bouts, squeaking out a split-decision win over Jake Ellenberger despite being badly hurt in the first round, and stopping Rory MacDonald with just 7 seconds left despite dropping the first two rounds. His last two bouts have both been incredible KO wins for Condit, over Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim. He has definitely earned this opportunity, and a win over Diaz would obviously be the biggest of his career.
Why should you care?
This is one of the most interesting bouts in recent UFC history in terms of styles and technique in the cage. Add two additional rounds and a title to fight over and this could be the best fight of the year. If that doesn't garner your interest, I don't know what will.
You can catch morepreview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.