UFC 143: Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit set for title bout
Rob Nash looks ahead to the UFC welterweight title bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit in Las Vegas on Saturday
UFC 143: Nick Diaz v Carlos Condit
The UFC returns to Las Vegas this Saturday night, where two of the best welterweights on the planet will face off in a guaranteed all-out-war and a bout that certainly has the potential to be the best fight of the year.
Bad boy Nick Diaz takes on Carlos Condit for the interim Welterweight Championship belt, with the winner set to face the current welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who is currently out of action to unify the belts.
Forget game plans and technique, this bout simply comes down to which fighter can take the most punishment and the one left standing will emerge victorious. It is stylistically a dream match-up for UFC fans – you have two elite fighters who love nothing more than to stand and bang until they knock there opponent out.
Diaz has a unique style of fighting. When the 28-year-old from Stockton, California steps into the octagon he doesn’t think about how to take advantage of opponents’ weaknesses or think of a game plan, his objective is simple, he just comes forward relentlessly until he finishes his opponent.
His weapon of choice is his boxing. Diaz is arguably the best boxer in the organisation and delivers spectacular combinations to the body like no other fighter in the UFC. His boxing ability, together with his take-down defence and outstanding cardio, ensures he can constantly put pressure on his opponents.
A classic example of this came in his last fight when he defeated the legendary BJ Penn back in October at UFC 137. BJ Penn is a former welterweight champion and widely believed to be one of the very best skilled fighters in the world.
But Diaz chased him around the cage for three rounds, delivering quick combinations and punches while also breaking the record for most significant strikes landed in a fight. No fighter has ever been able to do that to Penn.
Diaz has proven himself to the other fighters that he is a force to be reckoned with now that he is back in the UFC and is ready for his toughest challenge yet, as he will try and look to unleash his famous “Stockton slap” on Condit and become the first man to knock him out.
Condit is a very well rounded fighter who has no weakness. He is a knockout artist and equally as dangerous on the ground. Condit is similar to Diaz – he likes to utilise his striking and look for the finish and that’s why this makes for a really exiting clash.
However, the 27-year-old does differs to Diaz because he mixes up his striking, utilising knees and kicks instead which his training camp feel could be the key to his victory. Condit’s only objective is to go in and finish you as quick, and as nasty, as possible.
His last three wins have all come by way of knock-out and he looked spectacular when he took on the Dong Hyun Kim. Kim was undefeated at the time and he was feared by most of the fighters in the division, and it only took Condit just three minutes to put the “Korean Zombie” to sleep.
Condit is well aware of the danger that Diaz poses but he is used to being the underdog and will utilise all his tools, and he believes by doing that he will emerge victorious on the day.
The verdict: It is very difficult to determine a winner for this fight. Neither will go down easily as we have seen in the past. Nevertheless, it is very rare to have this kind of match-up, one which UFC fans have been craving for some time, where two young fighters at the top of their game collide in an epic battle. Whatever the outcome expect fireworks and one thing is for sure, someone is going down.
Roy Nelson v Fabricio Werdum
Also to be featured on the fight card is a clash between two heavyweights that are eager to get back into title contention as Roy Nelson welcomes back former contender Fabricio Werdum to the UFC.
This is also a match-up between two very similar fighters. Both elite black-belt Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu artists who over the years have developed there striking game, making them complete fighters and a real force to be reckoned with. The winner will stay in the top five of the division but for the loser it’s back to the drawing board.
Nelson was widely believed by many to become the next number one contender for the heavyweight title, but two successive losses were a set back for the Ultimate Fighter season ten winner. Nelson, aiming to become that feared fighter he once was, has changed the way he trains, his work ethic and has slimmed down considerably.
‘Big country’ is coming off a great win over MMA veteran Mirko Filipović when he defeated him courtesy of a technical knock-out in the third round back at UFC 137. Nelson has heavy power in his right hand and he believes that if he lands that one punch on Werdum’s chin, his hand will be raised.
Now Nelson is ready go back to the top and show the world that he is one of the very best fighters in the division, but first he has to get past hard hitting Werdum
Werdum shares a similar story to Nelson. At one point in time, he was a fight away from getting a title shot but he lost in a shocking upset to the then newcomer, now current heavyweight champion, Junior dos Santos.
The Brazilian was released from the UFC and worked his way up in Strikeforce fighting championship instead where he became the first man to defeat and end the mystique of Fedor Emelianenko by submitting him by way of a triangle choke.
While Werdum possesses a black-belt in Jiu-Jitsu he also has very good Muay Thai and he has knocked out Brandon Vera and Gabriel Gonzaga. Werdum’s game plan going into this fight is to stay out of Nelson’s reach and not circle into his power hand. But Nelson has an iron chin so he may take the fight to the ground and look for the submission.
Other fights on the card:
Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Bantamweight bout: Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
Middleweight bout: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks