This Saturday, we finally get to see a welterweight championship bout. Georges St. Pierre may be in attendance but he won’t be in the cage. Carlos Condit (who was scheduled to fight GSP at UFC 137) will fight Nick Diaz (who was also scheduled to fight GSP at UFC 137) for the right to be called the “interim UFC Welterweight Champion” (also known as the number one contender with a belt). With the clash of styles, fans are already looking at this as a possible fight of the year candidate. The old boxing axiom is “styles make fights” but how do the two styles match up?
In the striking department, both men bring a “particular set of skills” (see Liam Neeson in “Taken”) to the octagon. Nick Diaz is traditional boxing who beats his opponents with quick hands and punches in bunches. Carlos Condit uses a variation of muay thai that his team has tailored over the years to suit mixed martial arts. Carlos has knockout power and can end the fight at any moment, but Diaz can wear anyone out with his relentless attack. If Carlos waits to pick his shots, he may get picked apart. Aggressiveness wins the day in this category.
Neither man is particularly stand-out in this category, so it is fairly even. However, defending take-downs will be important because neither man wants to be in their guard receiving punishment from any sort of ground and pound.
Nick Diaz is slightly more accomplished in the realm of Brazilian jiu-jitsu but that doesn’t mean he should lean on that as a string point. Condit has an equal number of wins by submission as he does by knockout, so he’s not a novice. Because both men respect the level of jiu-jitsu on their counterpart’s resume, the fight should stay standing the majority of the fight.
It’s hard to go either way in this fight, but if Condit wins, look for it to be by KO or Submission. If Diaz wins, he will have out-paced, and out-lasted Condit in a decision victory. Whoever wins will be part of a fantastic fight for the fans to enjoy.