By Brian Mallon: For the first time in over five years two fighters not named Georges St Pierre will contest a UFC title at 170 lbs.
At their core Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit are fighters. Unlike some former wrestlers or ju-jitsu aces looking for a medium to compete as professional athletes, both these fearsome scrappers fight because it’s in their blood. The fact that they are facing mirror images of each other merely adds to the intrigue of this unpredictable bout. With both being high octane strikers, boasting slick ground games and exceptional cardio few observers are predicting a winner in UFC 143’s main event.
As if meeting inside the octagon for a potential twenty five minute war isn’t enough to fully occupy their minds, the shadow of GSP looms large for both men. Both have been slated to lock horns with the UFC’s most high profile star in recent months and they do battle next weekend knowing that whilst a belt is on the line it will only be when they share the octagon with Canada’s favourite son that they can truly claim to be world champion at 170lbs.
Come fight time Diaz will seek to use his slightly superior boxing ability to keep Condit guessing. Condit will look to prove that he will not wilt under the striking onslaught that has simply ground down the Stockton native’s most recent opponents. Whilst Condit has high profile victories over Rory MacDonald and Dan Hardy on an already glittering CV, I believe Diaz’ superior stand-up may be the telling factor in what will be an all out war. I expect Diaz to emerge victorious after four gruelling rounds of hectic action.
For analysis of last weekend’s pivotal Chicago fight card check out my review piece in The Independent
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