So, I just finished watching the fight for the third time.
The first time was with friends, bbqing and having a couple of drinks. The second time was watching the fight on dvr. This last time was studying the fight with the volume off. All three times lead me to a more unequivicable conclusion.
But before I get to that...
Please, allow me to reiterate something that I have told to anyone that would listen:
One of my striking coaches (Kit Cope, who at the time was working at LA Boxing, Henderson) is/ was friends with Nick. Consequently, I met Nick a number of times.
I guarantee you, you have never met a more down to earth, friendly guy. I'm not talking about someone putting on a face for the populace; this guy was handing out his cell phone number to perfect strangers to come down to the gym and roll anytime they wanted.
The first time I met him was shortly after the first KJ Noons fight. His face was carved to pieces. We sat on the ring apron and shot the shit...then he got down on the mat in jeans and a t shirt and started doing crunches.
The footage that the average viewer sees (while deplorable) is not who this guy is on a day to day basis. (His brother, Nate, though? Douche Bag.) I bring up my personal experiances/ opinion of Nick so that no one can say I am biased and/ or delusional.
I picked Nick to end it in the second, possibly early third. Condit, whom I have great respect for (both as a fighter and professional athlete) had never faced a fighter the caliber of Diaz.
Check out Condit's record:
-Dong Hyun Kim (Who? Oh, that guy that was only 'undefeated" because Karo Parysian (and honestly, what has Karo done since Diego knocked his tooth out?) tested positive for painkillers after defeating DONG HYUN KIM back in January of 2009)). "W".
-Dan Hardy- Over rated (Hate me all you want; He lost to Marcus Davis, I don't care how the judges saw it. The best thing that Hardy ever did was not tap to GSP, promise "I will never tap!", and then tap to Anthony Johnson.) "W".
-Rory Macdonald- Macdonald owned him (and I picked Condit) for two and a half rounds, then the fight was stopped in the final seconds when Macdonald was surviving and could've picked up the win. "W" (Although it shouldn't be).
-Jake Ellengberger- Ellengberger won that fight, pure and simple. "W" (Although it shouldn't be.)
-Martin Kampmann- First UFC fight, I picked Condit..."L".
Once again, I bring this up to show my bias...
Simplify the terms, and put it into reality:
This wasn't Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit; this was" a Fighter" vs. "A Guy With A Gameplan".
I'm just like you; I look at all the same sites everyday, multiple times a day, while my wife screams " I don't know how you can look at those same sites everyday!"...(Get off Facebook, honey...and, no, the "Real World" is not the real world.)
I have seen all the same things about "...Carlos won a close split decision..."..."...Diaz won that fight..."..."Diaz won 2,3, and 5. How did this happen?"
I'll tell you how this happened. Here is how I scored it:
First: either/ draw
Third: either, but would lean Condit
Fifth: Lean Condit, although people argue that the late take down/ position by Nick (although no damage was done, and Condit controlled the rest of the round) would go for Nick.
Condit (who though, while great, is in my opinion an inferior fighter compared to Diaz) came in with a game plan from Greg Jackson, the Game Planner of game planners. Most impressive of Condit's performance is that he stuck to the "Game Plan".
You can all stop whinning right now.
It's easy for the average joe to sit there and critisize. "He didn't stick to the gameplan". "He didn't listen to his corner."
Take my word for it; when you are being punched in the face, when you have a guy starting to pressure you, when you have someone in front of you that won't back down no matter how hard you hit them(...Seriously!Back down! I hit you really hard, like, 3 fucking times! Are you FKM? What do I gotta do to put you away?) it becomes instinct to deviate from the game plan. It's called "panic".
Carlos did not panic.
Up and coming female MMA star Rhonda Rousey recently commented that "I didn't come here to watch a guy run." This tells me that she is either tough as shit or is going to have a rude awakening outside of a point scoring system.
Carlos came with a gameplan from the first step. Watch him in the first couple of rounds, constantly firing out that jab with no power on it. It wasn't to cause damage; it was to keep Nick out of range; to stop Nick from doing what Nick does, which is put so much pressure on guys that they crumble.
He didn't succumb to the taunts. He kept his distance, only got caught in a couple of flurries. Granted, he did throw a lot of desperation techniques that didn't hurt Diaz or Diaz caught, but he never got pinned up. He outstruck Nick Diaz, while taking the minimal amount of damage. THIS IS THE POINT OF FIGHTING, PEOPLE! You want to hurt the other guy and take as small amount of damage is possible.
Herein lies the problem with MMA.
It is scored thusly:
"Effective striking, effective grappling, aggression, and Octogon control."
How do you score aggression (Oh, he was so angry...?) Octogon control (He stood in all the right spots. I said to myself, "Self? That's a good place to stand; he should stand right there*)?
While I agree that these are intrinsic elements, how do you score them? In theory, by these prescripts, any heavy bag you've ever worked on has a decent chance of winning a fight with you (think about it; you can't hurt it, it never backs down, and it forces you to move.)...("Good...but brick no hit back..." Anyone that doesn't get that should go check out Perez Hilton's site and see what Bradgelena is doing... I'm serious ; get out of here...I don't need the hits)
Until MMA's scoring system as a sport evolves to the same levels of its popularity, this will continue to be an issue. Did I enjoy/ appreciate Nicks' antics, jaw, toughness, durability, warrior spirit? Absolutely. Will I look forward to his next fight once his marijuana suspension (sorry, buddy, but you're just stupid) is over? Without a doubt. Do I feel like he is the only one that poses a credible threat to GSP? Been saying it for years. Did he win that fight?
Being tough, walking forward, and taking a punch does not equate to winning a fight.
Hate me, now; my arms are open.
*Yes, I know how important cutting off the ring is.
*Yes, I know how important and fundamental it is to limit your opponents' angles.
*... But that doesn't mean that walking forward wins fights.