Few things infuriate MMA fans more than a poorly scored fight, although the term “theft” tends to be recklessly tossed about and is often permeated with bias. With Robbery Review, we’ll take a look back at the controversial fights and determine whether the judges were rightly criticized for their decision, or whether the pundits need to examine their own gut reactions.
You knew this one was coming.
It started with a growl. UFC welterweight star Nick Diaz, dormant for ages, suddenly sent the feelers on for a 2021 comeback. Although he hasn’t fought since January 2015, the presence of older brother Diaz has always persisted in the atmosphere of MMA and now the prayers of so many of Diaz’s followers had finally been answered: big brother Nick was back.
Immediately I thought of his memorable UFC interim title fight against Carlos Condit at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012 in Las Vegas. It was a fight that had troubled me for centuries, a fight that by the time I – and many others – was certain Diaz had won. But the scorecards went in Condit’s favor and this verdict was a major lesson for me in how the effectiveness of the octagon’s hitting, blocking and control was rated. I thought I saw a flight, but soon realized that I didn’t understand the details of this fight.
Fast forward to now, with Condit set to fight Court McGee on Saturday at UFC Fight Island 4, and I find myself with the perfect opportunity to finally see this controversial contest again. Condit himself even recently mentioned that he ended the controversy with a future rematch.
Before we get a head start on ourselves, let’s take a look at Condit vs Diaz in this edition of Retro Robbery Review.
What was the official result?
Carlos Condit beats. Nick Diaz by unanimous decision.
How did the fight go?
The fact that it didn’t turn into a brawl may have been disappointing for some fans, given that Condit and Diaz had reputations for incredible knockouts and violent wars. But they always brought a ton of skills to their fights too and it was that aspect of their games that was on display in this meet.
The rhythm of the dance was established early. Diaz was walking forward the entire time and Condit’s game plan was to do circles, circles, circles… Condit used kicks perfectly to score from a distance, but Diaz would throw hands and connect to the first one. tower. Still, Condit stayed out of the danger zone for the most part and he was touching Diaz on his own. It’s hard to say how many direct punches from Diaz actually pulled off. It didn’t take long for Diaz to drop his hands, open up his stance and invite Condit to throw himself in. Condit didn’t bite.
In the second round, Condit kept gnawing at that leading leg and it was obvious his strategy was to avoid a head-on confrontation and frustrate Diaz. It seemed to work as Diaz was definitely having a hard time understanding Condit. He continued to mock, but failed to connect with a significant offense. Every time he landed a sharp shot, Condid had an answer. While Condit did a great job avoiding the attacks, Diaz was content to walk through them.
As the fight progressed, neither of the fighters hesitated much at his approaches. Condit found a home for almost everything he threw, but Diaz’s headhunt paid off in spurts. However, he settled into a pace in which he would walk Condit down and land a punch or two, only to be countered and drag Condit out of reach. Condit’s attacks were more diverse. Were they more efficient? One thing is for sure, while Diaz was the one marching forward, it was Condit’s movement that dictated where the fight took place.
Condit was still filling the space with kicks in the legs and body, so to speak. Which meant he was constantly giving the judges something to score and in a fight like this that made all the difference. Another key factor is that Diaz never systematically cut Condit. And it’s not like Condit hasn’t pulled off some big shots either. Perhaps the most memorable moment of the fight was the magnificent leg kick combination Condit scored with around 90 seconds left in the fourth round.
The fifth round and Condit still turned, turned, turned. He matched Diaz’s legendary cardio and, based on his steady output, arguably passed Diaz. Condit was right on the verge of kicking Diaz and when Diaz got lazy with his defense, Condit lit him up. A late withdrawal from Diaz gave him the opportunity to show off his excellent jiu-jitsu, but Condit dodged a choke attempt and actually finished the lap in the lead. Then they stood up and respected each other.
This sentiment persisted even after reading the ruling, although Diaz expressed frustration at Condit’s tactics while praising the character of Condit. This is also where Diaz first retired, claiming he “didn’t want to play this game anymore”.
What did the judges say?
Judges Patricia Morse Jarman and Cecil Peoples both had identical scorecards for Condit, 49-46, giving Diaz the third round. Junichiro Kamijo scored 48-47 for Condit, with turns two and five for Diaz on this card.
What do the numbers say?
(Statistics by UFC statistics)
The numbers paint a clear picture of a Condit victory. In total significant strikes, Condit won in a 151-105 march. Round by round, he beat Diaz in rounds one (29-23), three (32-22), four (36-11) and five (25-17).
What Diaz fans would probably want to point out is his advantage in headshots, even though he’s light. He landed 57 hits to the head compared to Condit’s 52, leading this category in each of the first three laps. He also landed more body shots, 42-31. However, Condit had an absurd advantage in the leg strikes, getting 68 against Diaz’s six.
Diaz was credited with the only successful withdrawal from the bout at the end of the third round.
What did the media say?
Of the seven scores from members of the media listed on MMA decisions, six scored it for Condit and one for Diaz. MMAWeekly.com went as far as going 50-45 in favor of Condit.
Sherdog.com’s Freddie DeFreitas scored the fight 48-47 for Diaz, giving him rounds one, two and five.
What did people say?
On MMA decisions, 49.2% of fan voters see it 48-47 for Diaz. Diaz support rises to over 55% when you include the 49-46 Diaz votes.
However, a Condit victory certainly registers, with 22.5% rating it 48-47 Condit, 11.1% 49-46 Condit and 3.1% 50-45 Condit.
The closest lap was the first, which 58% scored for Diaz. The fourth round of Condit was the most definitive since 92.2% of the voters gave him this framework.
Below you can see how some MMA personalities reacted to the decision at the time.
Wow, I wouldn’t want to judge this one. I got it even after 4. And diaz in the 5th
– Dan Henderson (@danhendo) February 5, 2012
If I wanted to see a man run for 25 minutes, I would go to a track competition. Diaz is the real champion, what a bullshit fight
– Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 5, 2012
I thought Condit won the fight I know Diaz is pissed off but Condit had a solid game plan that worked, I thought he won for sure
– Miesha Tate (@MieshaTate) February 5, 2012
I’m looking forward to the fight metrics for this fight… I thought Diaz had won it all night.
– Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) February 5, 2012
This decision was an absolute joke. At best, Condit won 2 rounds.
– patmiletich (@patmiletich) February 5, 2012
Diaz wins via the ring command, one advances, the other retreats. Ala Delahoya vs Trinidad in my opinion, 3 opinions are judging
– Jens Pulver (@jens_pulver) February 5, 2012
How did I rate it?
Upon examination, I can see why I thought Diaz won; I can also see now why I was so, so bad.
Through my relatively inexperienced eyes, I saw Diaz’s head shots as being more damaging. And I definitely got an incorrect reading of the octagon control part. It was only after reading the fight analysis afterwards and then seeing it again now that I can appreciate how masterful Condit’s control of the action was.
Thanks to Diaz for constantly pushing forward, but that’s exactly what Condit wanted him to do. There was simply no time when he was in serious danger. While the same could be said of Diaz, he was definitely on the losing side of the volume battle and you don’t need the stats to tell you that. Simply put, Diaz was as close to finishing Condit as Condit was to finishing him, which is not very.
This time around I gave Condit rounds two, three, four and five.
Was it a theft?
First of all, thanks to Joe Rogan for correctly assessing what Condit was doing the whole fight. In the fourth round, he noted that Diaz and their corner should be worried about his loss of decision. He was right.
Sorry Diaz fans, upon review I just don’t see how a strong cause can be made for a Diaz win here. Maybe you give him the first three rounds because of the head shot advantage? But it forces you to ignore so many other factors. Maybe you give him the last round for the late withdrawal, but can you imagine a Brother Diaz saying he deserved a round because of a withdrawal?
Call Condit’s punchy ‘pitter-patter’ if you will. The truth is, Diaz couldn’t chain a lot of consequences himself and unless you scored by Stockton Street Rules, Condit was the best man in UFC 143.
The final verdict
Not a theft. Condit won.
Was Carlos Condit’s victory over Nick Diaz a theft?
287 votes au total