I thought I’d kick off this post by saying that I’ve never actually seen Nick Diaz lose a fight. Then I thought about it a bit more and decided that although I’ve seen Nick Diaz lose fights in the technical sense - being damaged more, taking more punches, having his skin cut open by his own tectonic-plate bone structure - I’ve never seen him end a fight not looking like he was going to win.* Somewhere there’s a parallel universe in which every fight is contested under Sakuraba/Royce/Pride rules - 10 minute rounds, keep going until one person has to stop - and in that universe, Nick Diaz is undisputed open-weight champion. It’s arguable whether he lost against Sanchez or Parisyan, Sherk did nothing to him that the police would even regard as actually bodily harm, and he was so pissed off about dropping a decision to Joe Riggs that he carried on fighting him in the hospital. Everything Nick Diaz does in a fight is designed to allow him to beat you up more, whether it’s taunting you with his hands down or calling you a bitch in between rounds or walking through 40 leg kicks so he can punch you in the liver. He doesn’t get tired and he is always trying to hit you. He is awesome.
So why didn’t he beat Condit? Regardless of what I think (maybe Diaz in round one, definitely Diaz in round two when he started to flurry on Condit as soon as he backed into the fence, Condit in three and four via leg kicks as Diaz slowed down and Diaz in five because he went for two subs that Fightmetric didn’t bother to score) or how badly Cecil Peoples needs to be fired (he scored five for Condit, which suggests to me that he’s never seen a rear naked choke before), that fight was really too close to be upset about the decision, and you can’t blame Condit for fighting smart, even if you (me) were shouting abuse at him in the opening ten minutes. I wouldn’t necessarily be in favour of a rematch if GSP would be ready to go in June, but since he’s probably out until the end of the year, it’s absolutely the best solution.
Not much to report on the rest of the card. I can’t dislike Roy Nelson, but a thumping overhand right, cement-like head and self-deprecating sense of humour won’t get him to the top of the division, and I’m getting a bit worried about how much he gets hit. I thought Pierce beat Koscheck, but everyone knows you can’t trust judges these days. Barao looked great, and Ed Herman looked like a guy who will starch anyone with an obvious weakness but isn’t likely to break the top ten. And I was ready to worship Stephen Thompson as the new karate messiah right up until the point he thanked his lord and saviour Jesus Christ for helping him kick a man in the face so hard that he’s probably lost some wonderful childhood memories. Overall a decent card, and I’m genuinely glad to have scotched the Nick Diaz eulogy I started writing minutes after he announced his ‘retirement.’ Well done, everybody.
*I haven’t seen his first fight with Jeremy Jackson, so this is technically fine.