The enigmatic Nick Diaz takes on Carlos Condit this Saturday night for the UFC Interim Welterweight Title. In a clash between two fighters who love to go on the offensive, only one can emerge to claim the title and a shot at Georges St. Pierre. Al Dannity breaks down the main event and the best of the rest on this card.
Two angry men
Nick Diaz had a title shot with Georges St. Pierre but was removed from the main event due to his bizarre behavior in the run up to the fight. Carlos Condit was elevated to #1 contender but then GSP pulled out injured. With Diaz dominating BJ Penn in their October bout, he was once again in line for a shot at the UFC Welterweight title. The saga took another twist however when GSP was ruled out of UFC 143 as well. That left MMA betting fans salivating for a big fight in one of the sport’s most exciting divisions. With two impatient men waiting for a shot at the belt, Dana White made a bold move. It’s Diaz vs. ‘The Natural Born Killer’ for the Interim title.
Diaz can use main event experience
While some video game salesmen have already made their call on a short but sweet bout, I’m expecting this fight to last a while. Carlos Condit has impressed greatly in his four fight winning streak. What he lacks however is the battle-hardened stamina of the former Strikeforce champion. Nick Diaz can match Condit in striking, and we can expect plenty of striking in this fight. It’s his endless supply of energy that makes Diaz particularly appealing for UFC betting fans. The former Strikeforce champion has proven he can go full five round main event distance. Diaz has shown he can live with aggressive strikers and beat them with his more rounded game. To paraphrase Apollo Creed, Carlos Condit fights great but Nick Diaz is a great fighter. I like Nick Diaz to win by a late round submission.
The best of the rest
The co-main event pits Fabricio Werdum against Roy ‘Big Country’ Nelson. This fight will tell us a lot more about Werdum than Big Country. While Roy Nelson’s look is adored, it’s clear that he simply doesn’t pack enough muscle to be an effective striker at this level. Should he beat Werdum, it would wipe whatever gloss is left from the Brazilian’s win over Fedor Emelianenko in 2010. The failings of Fedor since have made that monumental upset look less impressive. I like Werdum to come out on top here on points.
The other bout that stands out sees Josh Kosheck go up against Mike Pierce. Kosheck and Penn have effectively become gateway fighters at this level. Beat either and you have a decent chance of fighting for the title. There is little on Pierce’s resume to think he’s going to unlock Kosheck on Saturday. I like Kosheck to win comfortably on points.
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