In a five-round contest, for the interim gold, a composed Carlos Condit shocked the MMA world. The controversial Nick Diaz, the consensus favourite, was made to look much less dangerous than in previous fights. The dirty boxing specialist was reduced to launching brief, albeit highly-effective, salvos. Condit's natural range and intelligent movement frustrated Diaz throughout.
Diaz found himself unable to corner the mobile Condit, as the Muay Thai practitioner executed a high volume of leg kicks, often off the back foot. In coupling his rangy defense with some creative offensive combinations, including urakens and headkicks, Condit did enough to convince the judges of his value, on the night.
Although, in an expletive-laden post-match interview, Diaz identified his trademark forward movement as the strongest argument for himself as the winner, Condit, in truth, had many of the Diaz hallmarks well scouted. Even the mindgames of the unpredictable Cesar Gracie trainee failed to impact upon the focused Condit. At times Diaz attempted to showboat – posing and, at one point, even slapping his opponent. However, these superfluous gestures came in lieu of any kind of sustained, scoring offense from the former Strikeforce and WEC champ.
Diaz's strongest sequence of the night occured in an exciting sprint finish. As the contest came to a close, he scored a takedown on a tiring Condit, before beginning to trouble the New Mexican with chokehold and armbar attempts. Disappointingly, from Diaz's perspective, Condit was able to weather the late storm to guide his ship home.
This unanimous decision loss breaks an eleven-fight win streak for the notoriously emotional Diaz, who now claims to be retiring from MMA, due to his displeasure with the judging of the fight.
Realistically, if not a heartbreaker of career-ending proportions, this loss should, at least, go down as a lesson in the virtues of professionalism and organisation, for Diaz.
Now boasting a five-fight win streak of his own, new Interim Champ, Condit will go on to face, UFC legend, St. Pierre for the undisputed crown, at a date to be confirmed.