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UFC 143 Preview: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit

Nick DiazMMAFrenzy’s coverage of Saturday’s main card concludes with our preview of a welterweight battle between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit. The showdown will be for the interim welterweight championship. Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy throughout the weekend, as we post weigh-in results, along with results of Saturday’s event.

Keys for Nick Diaz (Bryan Robison)-
Throughout these past few weeks leading up to this fight, it is obvious that Nick Diaz respects Carlos Condit. That in itself could be considered a victory for the “Natural Born Killer”. That does not come often.

Matchups this seemingly even also do not come often, as Diaz and Condit bring two similar pedigrees and styles, with the victor earning the interim welterweight title. Unfortunately, the possible matchup of Diaz taking on champion Georges St. Pierre has been just as discussed as Saturday’s matchup.

That is insulting to a fighter of Condit’s talent, and makes it seem as if Diaz is looking past him. He cannot, and more than likely is not.

Regarding the fight, Diaz will look to put the pressure on, but will have to do so sooner than he usually does, as he is typically a slow starter. When Condit is pressured early, he can not effectively use his arsenal of striking. That is something Diaz always looks to do, as no one fights as effectively going backward as they do going forward.

With Diaz’s ability to take punishment, because Condit certainly inflicts plenty, he can implement his usual style of hitting in quantity instead of sheer quality. Condit more than likely will look to do the same, knowing Diaz is tough to finish. But for all the talk that Diaz is rarely finished, he still holds the more recent loss due to finish, when he lost to KJ Noons via doctor stoppage in November 2007. With both fighters having similar determination, it will come down to the fighter with the more consistent striking, something Diaz nearly always possesses.

Keys for Carlos Condit (Chris Leslie)-
Every time I write a gameplan for a Diaz fight it is almost always the same. The issue almost always becomes that fighters struggle with Diaz’s pace and aggressiveness. With Condit, you have fighter who is also in crazy shape and loves to be aggressive.

So in that respect, these fighters are very alike. Condit is also very good on the ground and should be able to neutralize Diaz’s BJJ advantage. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if Greg Jackson has thrown a few curveballs into the gameplan and we see some wrestling from Condit.
The most important aspect of this fight is the striking game. Condit has sneaky power that is tied to his counters. If Condit is smart, and he is, he has reviewed the Daley fight multiple times. Daley exploited Diaz’s aggressive style with sharp counters that dropped Diaz a few times. The mistake that Daley made was not following up to finish Diaz off (probably due to his memory of the Shields fight) and by getting drawn into the swing for the fences style of Diaz. Plainly put, matching Diaz punch for punch is a fool’s errand, you’ll only exhaust yourself.
So Condit has to counter and move the majority of the fight. Condit cannot allow himself to get caught in the corners of the cage, a mistake BJ Penn did in rounds 2 and 3 of his Diaz fight. If Condit can take control of the octagon from Diaz, counter accordingly, and not get overwhelmed, he could ruin GSP’s dream of fighting Diaz.

Make sure to read all other previews of the main card:
Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
UFC 143 Preliminary Card Things to Watch For

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