One of the most talked about topics over the last 48 hours has been the potential for a rematch between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz, with the majority of those favoring this rematch being Nick Diaz fans. I myself am a Nick Diaz fan but I don’t find myself really craving to see this fight again like so many others seem to be doing.
My fandom for Diaz is pretty intense. I make it a point to let others know that my only MMA apparel is MiddleEasy's t-shirt that pays homage to Nick's infamous catchphrase and when Diaz is on a card I send out mass texts with the message ‘Don’t be scared homie!’ to my friends so they know that they need to be watching the fights.
The reason for my Diaz fandom is quite simple, Diaz actually fights. In a time where MMA is constantly evolving, Nick makes sure to never turn his back on what this sport is truly about, fighting.
This reason is also the reason why I'm not a fan of Georges St. Pierre or any other fighter for that matter that implements the fighting style dubbed as ‘point-fighting’. Why I bring up GSP in this piece is because the way I felt towards the at-the-time-inevitable fight between him and Nick is the exact same way I feel about a potential rematch between him and Carlos Condit.
In my opinion GSP doesn't brandish the characteristics of a fighter that has a passion for what he does. Fans call his style smart fighting and I honestly can't say that I blame GSP for doing what he does; after all, it's working for him. Regardless of how effective his fighting style is for him though, I don't find what he does entertaining or passionate and therefore I don't care to watch.
This goes for a fight with Nick Diaz as well. I look at a potential fight between GSP and Diaz as taking away a great fight the fans could get from having Diaz face another opponent that is willing to fight him. Nick by himself is only one man, and in the fight game you need a dance partner in order to put on a show. When it comes to this aspect of the game I think it’s fair to say that point-fighting equates to having a partner with two left feet.
After the dust settles people remember fighters over titles. When fans talk about Corrales vs Castillo 1 they don't talk about the WBO and WBC belts that Corrales unified, they talk about the heart and gameness Corrales displayed by stopping Castillo after being floored twice in the same round. Fighters like Corrales and Diaz are cut from the same cloth, and to me these traits more important than any belt ever will be.
This brings me to the highly discussed Condit vs Diaz rematch. If the same Condit that showed up on February 4th is going to show up the second time around I have little interest in seeing the fight. This isn’t because I don’t think Diaz can win; after all, I thought he won the first fight. I just don’t want to see him in a fight where his opponent doesn’t have an interest in fighting to finish.
I was very excited for their first fight because I, like everyone else, thought that Condit was going to show up to put on a show and entertain the fans. Instead, he and his camp devised a plan that was focused around point-fighting and evading as much interaction with their opponent as possible. This isn’t what I want to see when I watch combat sports and it’s not what this sport was intended to become.
I’m not trying to argue whether what Condit and his camp did was right or wrong. Obviously, it wasn’t wrong because in the eyes of the judges he won the fight. The only point that I’m trying to make is that as a Diaz fan I don’t want to see him in a fight where his opponent isn’t going to show up to fight. You can call it smart game planning, you can call it evolution of the sport, you can call it whatever you want, but it’s not what I envision when I think of fighting.
To me, whether either of these men should fight Nick Diaz isn’t the question; the question is whether Nick Diaz should fight them. Judging by what we’ve seen recently from both Condit and GSP my answer to that question is a definitive no. If they want to go down in history as fighters that negatively altered the way athletes in MMA had to fight to win then so be it. But rest assured, Diaz will be remembered as a fan’s fighter, and that’s all that matters.