Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting
Matthew Roth: So UFC 143 is over and the new champion was crowned. What I want to know from you guys is did the judges get the decision right and why? Did Carlos Condit run away or was he remaining elusive while breaking down Nick Diaz for 25 minutes?
Fraser Coffeen: Condit won. He avoided Diaz's shots while landing strikes of his own. That is counter striking, and it's a perfectly acceptable and legitimate aspect of striking. Condit did it beautifully.
Tim Burke: What Condit did was very smart. Did it make for a very good fight? No. Was he on his bike a lot? Yes. I don't believe that was simply counterstriking though. He was literally running across the cage at some points. Still, you can't argue with effectiveness.
I believe the bout could have gone either way. Diaz has a case for 1, 2 and 5. I scored it 48-47 Condit, but it was close.
Josh Nason: I thought the judges got it right and if there were 10-10 rounds actually given, I think the fifth round was that even that it would be a draw. Instead of calling out Condit for a rematch though, Diaz decided to "retire" when there's a great case to see them hook it up again. Some of the MMA community calling out Condit for "running" was a little nuts though, especially from fellow fighters. It's a really polarizing fight which should mean rematch.
Matthew Roth: I've read a bunch of people saying what Condit did was bad for the sport. Which is ridiculous to me.
Lots more after the jump...
KJ Gould: Condit won. He aimed to hit without getting hit. You know, 'Sweet Science' stuff. And some of the combos he landed were absolute doozies. That left hand, left leg kick, right head kick combo? Fans of striking got semi-hard watching that.
You can't win fights from just running. Kalib Starnes infamously ran, and I think he lost every round 8-10 on almost every judge's scorecard as a result.
Fans that were disappointed are likely the victims of UFC promising something they never have control over in delivering. Lesson learned: don't believe the hype.
TP Grant: Condit won, the judges got this right. Condit came in with a very smart game plan, and I don't think that game plan here is a dirty word. Diaz has good hands but he is flat footed and really goes to work once he has trapped his victim on the fence. Condit wanted to keep Diaz just out of range and land sharp leg kicks, which Diaz doesn't check. And if he found himself on the cage he looked for an opening to escape.
Accusations of running thrown at Condit are over blown, the man was ripping off combinations and landed over 150 strikes. I was entertained by the fight and found it exciting, and my only thought afterwards was wanted to see more rounds of it. I though the main problem here was that Diaz had no Plan B, Condit had a more diverse striking game mixing together kicks, punches, knees and elbows while Diaz limited himself to just punches and the occasional b*tch slap.
Josh Nason: I hope all the fighters that are giving Condit crap on the interwebs go balls out their next fight Leonard Garcia style. Something tells me they won't. Condit won, Diaz lost. I think this is simply residual bitterness from not getting to see GSP vs. Diaz. Blame GSP's knee for that folks, not the new interim 170-pound champ.
David Castillo: Dave Walsh put it best: 'controlling where the action is taking place is not the same as controlling the action itself'. And lo and behold, the numbers from fight metric illustrate this basic fact, which is that Condit, despite being elusive, was still active, and effective. The only reason this fight has garnered such a reaction is that a) Nick Diaz has a large devoted fanbase and b) it didn't meet the expectations we all built up or it. On first watch, I felt like Diaz had a stronger case (though I had it a draw as a result of Diaz taking the 1st and 5th, with Condit taking the 3rd and 4th with the second being a draw). On repeat viewing, that was not the case, as Nick looked more effective than he actually was.
Josh Nason: It's pretty nuts (and indicative of our culture to run those we perceive as wronged) that suddenly the MMA community is rallying around Diaz when they've been just fine to treat him as a pariah for the past few years.
Tim Burke: I think a lot of people are just analyzing the fight the way they would analyze any fight. I've torn a strip off Diaz multiple times, but he DOES have a case for winning three of the five rounds. A case doesn't mean I'm saying he won the fight. But it was close.
KJ Gould: I don't understand how anyone could give Condit the last round though. That's bats*it crazy.
TP Grant: Well there are people out there who don't reward position, they want a fight to "do something with it".
KJ Gould: Understandable when you take someone down and stall in guard. Diaz took Condit down, took his back and had complete control. In MMA that's the best position because in Condit's position he has the least number of offensive options. Even from under mount Condit had more punching and elbowing options available to him - even if strategically it'd be a bad idea giving someone like Diaz a limb.
Out of concerted efforts to finish a fight, Diaz had it when he had Condit's back with over a minute left. Clearly, Condit was on the defensive.
TP Grant: Oh I agree, mostly the people who argue position shouldn't be scored are those who say the only measure of a fight is damage and also seem to think that Pride rules never resulted in bad decisions.
Matthew Roth: Cage side I thought that Condit fought an amazing fight. There have been other talented fighters who have abandoned their game plans because of Nick's taunting and shenanigans. Carlos didn't. He forced Nick to fight his fight and the stats prove that. A minute of back control doesn't negate four minutes of getting out struck. And even on the ground, Carlos was still throwing strikes which is why he ended the fight with top position throwing elbows
I'm okay with the judges decision though the media room was pretty split on the matter.
Dallas Winston: Diaz taking Condit's back has more to do with effective grappling than "control" or "position". Effective striking and grappling are the main two credentials and significantly outweigh the lower categories. That means Diaz clearly won effective grappling in the 5th and that Condit would have to noticeably out-strike him to compensate.
It's disturbing that there's an argument for either fighter in rounds 1-3 and everyone agrees they were close rounds, but almost no one scored any of them 10-10. I think this fight is a classic fit for 10-10 rounds. I just don't get the reluctance in using that score for what everyone agrees were competitive rounds with no clear-cut winner.
Overall, I walk away from Diaz vs. Condit with the feeling that the fighters were extremely evenly matched and neither really proved themselves superior to the other. Even Pierce vs. Koscheck from this card and other fights like Rampage vs. Hendo and Shogun vs. Hendo awarded one winner in matches I thought could've gone either way.