Written by Samuel Adamek
Another great night of UFC fights is in the books, seeing a rejuvenated Fabricio Werdum top a tough, gritty Roy Nelson, and Carlos Condit edge Nick Diaz in an interim-title showdown. The event took place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand on February 4, 2012.
Werdum is back, and in prime condition. The knees he blasted Nelson with likely would have wilted any other man. Fists and knees flying, the pair slugged it out to a decision. The exciting battle won Fight of the Night honors and was an excellent lead-in to the main-event.
The win launched Werdum to the higher ranks of the UFC heavyweight division, getting many people talking about a possible Mir vs. Werdum showdown. Currently at the top of the mountain sit Junoir Dos Santos and Alistair Overeem, who will fight in the coming months of the UFC heavyweight title. Following close behind are Frank Mir, Cain Velascuez, and now, Fabricio Werdum.
For the first time since 2008, a new man is king of the hill in the welterweight division. That man is Carlos Condit, who evaded a hard-pressing Nick Diaz for five rounds and walked away with a controversial split-decision for the interim Welterweight title.
Condit effectively carried out his game-plan by keeping his distance and delivering counter strikes. He slipped punches, threw kicks, and immediately vacated, not allowing Diaz to go about his typical swarming boxing.
When Condit did not fall victim to this strategy that had previously been so effective for Diaz, Diaz became frustrated and began to taunt Condit. The gestures did not seem to faze Condit, who continued to circle away and implement his kicking game.
Maintaining his poise, composure, and strategy, Condit began to settle in and get the better of Diaz in the third and fourth rounds. It appeared that the first two rounds went to Diaz, and the third and fourth went the way of Condit. This meant that the fight over round five was the fight over who would become the welterweight champion.
Condit landed the better strikes in the opening minutes of the final frame. With just over a minute on the clock, Diaz snuck to the back of Condit, tripped him to the mat, and sunk a body triangle in. This secured him on Condits back as he worked for a choke and finally decided on an armbar at the rounds end. Condit defended the barrage of submission attempts well, but Diaz had sealed a win for the round — or so it appeared. At least one judge was not so convinced, and scored the round for Condit, regardless of Diaz getting the better of the ground battle.
Many believe that Diaz deserved the decision, despite Condit landing more strikes, but the judges thought otherwise, handing the win and the belt to Carlos Condit. An obviously-frustrated Nick Diaz said after the fight that he may very well be done with MMA, stating in perennial Diaz fashion, “I don’t need this sh**.”
MMA fans will have to wait and see going forward if this statement holds true or not. Eventually, Nick Diaz will have an opportunity to think in a much calmer environment about this decision, and may choose otherwise. At any rate, this fight was a voluminous display of athleticism and excitement, much to the satisfaction of the loyal fans of this sport and the new interim UFC Welterweight Champion, Carlos Condit.