There have been a lot of complaints about Carlos Condit's unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 143's interim welterweight title fight on Saturday. Most notably, Nick Diaz vowed to retire from MMA after the decision was read. Diaz, and many fans, were frustrated with Condit's counter-strike and circle away strategy, but Diaz had no answer for it inside the cage.
UFC president Dana White expressed his hope for a rematch between the two fighters as the best solution:
"I know (Georges. St. Pierre) wanted that Diaz fight bad, but it's not going to be Diaz so he better get angry with Carlos Condit or focus on Carlos Condit or whatever he needs to do. Carlos Condit won this fight. No matter how much Georges and Nick hate each other, Carlos Condit won, and I think the fans are mad at the way Carlos Condit fought. Too f*cking bad. He came in with a game plan and stuck to it and won. You know what's funny man, is that when he said that, I was thinking the same thing. It's crazy, but. I was thinking it after the fight. You know, people are bitching and thinking it was close or whatever, we can do that fight again before GSP comes back. It depends on Carlos too, he's really gotta say, and Nick's gotta say I want to fight him again too."
If White can persuade the volatile Diaz to reconsider retirement, this is the way to go for three reasons:
- It will give Diaz a chance to adjust to Condit's tactics. A truly great fighter would have been able to respond in-cage but I'd like to see what Diaz and his team come up with given a few months to prepare. Diaz' entire flat-footed arm-punching style is a response to his frustration with the way MMA fights are judged on the ground and his serial losses to better wrestlers in the UFC. I look forward to seeing if he can adapt to Condit's game plan and if so, how.
- It will give prevent the division from being entirely on hold while champion GSP recovers from ACL surgery. Sure it means a log jam at the top of the division, but that's fine as the new wave of contenders (Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Rory MacDonald, etc) need time to sort themselves out and build up their names with fans.
- It will ease the pressure on GSP to return from surgery prematurely. He'll already be coming back in a title fight after an 18 month layoff and major surgery, the pressure to get back into the Octagon early makes a bad situation worse.
Hopefully Diaz' coach Cesar Gracie can talk him back into the cage for one more go at Condit. What do you think?