Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.
Going into UFC 143's welterweight interim title fight between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz, the expectations were that Diaz would inevitably outstrike and wear down Condit with his unique blend of high-volume punching and incredible conditioning.
Diaz was expected to corner Condit up against the cage and box him up with barrages of arm punches that would slowly but surely accumulate and grind Condit down. Just like Diaz beat down B.J. Penn, Evangelista Santos, Paul Daley and so many others.
But it didn't happen like that because Condit and his coach Greg Jackson put together a game plan that defused Diaz' advantages and because Condit's conditioning proved to be more than a match for Diaz'. Diaz did back Condit up throughout most of the fight. Diaz relentlessly walked Condit down and struck when he backed against the fence. But just as often, Condit counter-struck and spun away, back to the center of the cage.
And while Diaz did out-punch Condit, Condit out-struck Diaz by out-kicking, out-kneeing and out-elbowing him over the course of the fight. Condit also picked up the pace in the championship rounds and really had Diaz frustrated in the fourth round. Diaz did come back at the end of the fifth to get a take down and attack Condit's throat and left arm, but he was unable to get the finish.
In the end, Condit took home a unanimous decision with all three judges agreeing that he'd won three rounds. They didn't agree about which three rounds he won but they all agreed he won three. CompuStrike showed that Condit outstruck Diaz 146-100, despite being outpunched 42-86. FightMetric scored it 306-274 for Condit with their unique but very apt scoring system.
The long and short of it is that Greg Jackson and Condit figured out how to beat Diaz and Condit executed on it.
SBN coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit