Photo by Esther Lin for Showtime Sports.
Nick Diaz made no secret of his unhappiness with the judges decision in his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 143. Diaz went so far as to declare his retirement from MMA as a result of the decision. Now his coach Cesar Gracie has made it clear he agrees with Diaz, even if he's not retiring himself.
"I literally just got off my computer to watch that first round again," he said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "And I thought, you'd have to be insane to think a guy chasing the other guy down, landing the significant punches, and running after a guy, trying to fight a guy who will not fight, that is scared to fight, and you lose? How do I tell my fighter what he should have done better? It takes two men to fight. If one guy doesn't fight, that should be a point deducted."
Gracie said that the judges' scoring might have been personal rather than unbiased.
"I don't think the judges like Nick," he said. "He comes off, he talks in the ring... Carlos was running at one point, and Nick slapped him in the face said, 'Quit running.' We were there for a dogfight. Carlos said he'd provide for the fans a dogfight, a great fight where they were going to go at it. That was not a dogfight. It takes two to make a dogfight. One guy running away is not a dogfight.
"I don't know what the judges were looking at," he continued. "They've never liked Nick in Vegas. They've never voted for him in a decision. The only one was the BJ Penn fight, and he almost had to kill BJ to get that one. I don't think they like his attitude, a guy that's going to go out there and talk. I think they think he's disrespectful. They're going to find a reason to judge against him. I don't think he can get fair judging in that state at all."
I worry that Diaz isn't getting the realistic feedback he needs from his very insular camp. Like Diaz, his teammate Jake Shields thrived in the weaker Strikeforce environment but has struggled in the UFC. I wonder if broadening their horizons a bit might be helpful to the whole team.