Sunday, 5 February 2012

Big Country has Big Heart; Diaz Retires at UFC 143?


You win some, you lose some. This message can be said to UFC and Nick Diaz after a lacklustre event, yet still manage to conjure up fireworks.

Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre made it clear that he wanted to face Nick Diaz when he returns from injury later this year. After Carlos Condit’s unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz last night though, the fans and GSP won’t get to see the grudge match happen. Will we even see Nick Diaz fight again?

Ed Herman and Clifford Starks kicked off the event in a middleweight war at UFC 143.

Herman was handed out some crushing straight rights from the undefeated Starks, punishing the left eye badly. This wouldn’t let Herman get distracted.

The overall experience of the TUF3 runner-up saw Starks slammed to the floor with a thunderous takedown and Herman smelled the blood. Herman took the back of the wrestler, Starks, and had a modified gable grip locked on until Herman managed to secure the rear-naked choke and deliver Clifford Starks his first MMA loss.

Who has the best chin (and beard) in the UFC? Roy Nelson. The amount of damage inflicted on ‘Big Country’ bewildered Fabricio Werdum in his first fight back in the Octagon in over three years.

Round 1 saw Werdum land some of the most vicious knees seen in the UFC to Nelson’s face and nose - and still see Nelson standing. I quote Joe Rogan in saying “There are not many human beings who can withstand those knees.” Rogan also said that “Nelson is a very special human being.” Both valid points indeed.

The improved stand-up of Werdum didn’t seem to phase Nelson at all as he just kept coming and coming at Werdum like a zombie. Sure, Werdum went on to win a decision victory but I think Nelson won a moral one and the praise and respect of every fighter and fighting fan across the world.

Main event time and this fight would be one of the most anticipated ones in recent history. Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight championship. The winner will face current welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. It was all or nothing.

In rounds 1 and 2 it looked like Diaz was going to boss Condit around, but Condit had other plans.
Condit didn’t let Diaz push him against the cage to pick apart, instead Condit looked sharp, aware and had good footwork to avoid any signicfant strikes from Diaz.

As the fight moved on into the championship rounds, Condit looked far more confident and doing more damage.
A late takedown from Diaz though would serve well on the judges scorecards, however it wasn’t enough. Carlos Condit defeated Nick Diaz via unanimous decision to be crowned interim welterweight champion.

Spanner in the works? You bet. However, it isn’t like we haven’t got a great welterweight fight on our hands, just everyone wanted to see two men who despise each other go to war.

Then came the most interesting part of the night - the post-fight interviews.

Nick Diaz declared he wasn’t going to accept the fight as a loss. “I pushed him back the whole fight. I’m done with this MMA shit.”
Now, a lot of people saw Diaz’s point but as the old saying goes: YOU CAN’T LEAVE IT IN THE HANDS OF THE JUDGES. Sad, but true.

If Diaz does retire, it will be a massive shame. The man is just too good to hang up the gloves.

Ed Herman def. Clifford Starks via rear naked choke in round 2.
Renan Barao def. Scott Jorgensen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Josh Koscheck def. Mike Pierce via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28).
Fabricio Werdum def. Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Carlos Condit def. Nick Diaz via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) to become the new UFC Interim Welterweight Champion.

Fight of the Night: Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson
Knockout of the Night: Stephen Thompson
Submission of the Night: Dustin Poirier

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