Condit on UFC 143 Victory: Diaz Was Talking, I Was Landing Punches

By Mike Whitman Feb 5, 2012
Carlos Condit earned the biggest win of his career on Saturday night, outpointing former Strikeforce titlist Nick Diaz to capture the UFC interim welterweight championship at UFC 143.

Condit used a sharp, varied counter attack, deftly maneuvering out of harm’s way continually during the five-round main event at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Though Diaz attempted to bait Condit into exchanges, “The Natural Born Killer” did not oblige the Californian, instead sticking to his game plan. Diaz continually moved forward and taunted the former WEC king, but Condit paid him no mind and continued to score with counter attacks.

“He was talking. I was landing punches,” Condit told UFC.com after his title-winning performance. “I think I was winning. No matter how much he talked, I was hitting hard and I was hitting him solid. That’s what I came here to do. I didn’t come here to talk.”

Condit’s game plan appeared to contain two main strategies. First, use movement to avoid standing in front of Diaz, who is known for his deadly combination punching and work rate. Second, execute isolated strikes at opportune times to prevent Diaz from finding his range and rhythm.

In that vein, Condit continually found a home for his leg kick. While it was unclear how much actual damage was being done to Diaz’s lead appendage, the maneuver served its purpose by both disrupting Diaz’s typically suffocating offense and scoring points with the judges.

“From the very beginning, I broke that leg down, man,” said Condit. “I chopped his leg, so even if he had the cardio, he wouldn’t have the wheels.”

Up next for the Jackson’s MMA representative is a showdown with part-time teammate and previously undisputed UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, who was sidelined in December with a torn ACL.

“[This win] is huge. This is just another step toward my ultimate goal of being among the best mixed martial artists in the world,” said Condit. “I’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot more improvements to make. Georges is a true champion, and he’s the best in the world.”

In victory, Condit becomes the first man besides St. Pierre to wear UFC welterweight gold in the last four years. Following his emotional win, the Arizonan thanked the followers who helped him reach the pinnacle of his career to-date.

“I have the best fans in the world. I get so much support and respect from people all over the world who I don’t even know,” said Condit. “I want you guys to know how much it f---ing means to me. This isn’t always fun, and it’s not always easy, but hearing from fans and getting support from you guys gives me motivation.”

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