UFC 143: Carlos Condit beats Nick Diaz for shot at title
Carlos Condit has earned a shot at Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre by defeating Nick Diaz by unanimous decision at UFC 143 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas by scores of 48-47, 49-46, 49-46.
Condit (28-5) produced the more creative display in a bout that remained a stand-up battle until Diaz (27-8) gained a takedown in the final 90 seconds of the interim welterweight title fight.
The activity by Condit in the final three rounds, when he began to kick more freely and found some openings (Diaz's right eye was swollen at the end), appeared decisive.
"I come on strong in the later rounds," Condit said in the octagon afterward. "I started to find my flow."
The volatile Diaz urged Condit to fight in the early rounds, and was so disappointed by the outcome in a bout that failed to meet expectations of a fiercer battle that he discussed retirement.
"I'm not going to accept this as a loss," Diaz said. "I think I'm done with this MMA. You guys pay me way too much. I don't need this ...
"I landed the harder shots. He landed little baby leg kicks. I don't need this anymore."
Diaz indeed scored jabs and signature left-hands and backed Condit to the cage with a second-round flurry of punches.
But Diaz's aggression slowed, especially in the fourth, as Condit's kicks and a combination of punches proved most memorable.
In the fifth, Condit kicks forced Diaz to slip to the canvas. Diaz tried the takedown around the 1:30 mark, but couldn't find a compelling hold on Condit, despite scrambling to do so. It appeared -- and was -- to be the actions of a desperate fighter.
Condit escaped right before the bell, then celebrated his victory and shot at St-Pierre, who's recovering from torn knee ligaments and likely won't be ready to fight Condit until late summer or early fall. St-Pierre watched the fight from ringside.
"It's an honor," Condit said of fighting St-Pierre. "Georges is a guy I've looked up to since I started fighting."
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Nick Diaz, right, lands a right to Carlos Condit as they exchange blows during UFC 143 on Saturday night. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press