There is lots of controversy regarding the outcome of Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz in UFC 143. Regardless of who the “pundits” think win or lost, the judges were clear in their decision – Carlos won the fight. Dana White was also clear that the winner of that fight would go on to fight GSP. As such, there should be no pressure brought to bear on Carlos for a rematch with Nick Diaz, and I would strongly say “Don’t do it!”
Dana White says that Carlos wanted it. Really? Or did Dana say something along the lines of “You know, Carlos, all these fans are saying you should have lost the fight. Don’t you want to prove them wrong?”
In the first place, Diaz doesn’t deserve another chance. I’m not saying he isn’t a tough fighter, but Dana has demonstrated before that you have to be more than just a good fighter to fight in the UFC. I appreciate his efforts to show that MMA is a real sport with real sportsmen. PED’s? You’re at least suspended. Imply rape is something to laugh about on Twitter, and you’re out. Do something unsportsmanlike such as clocking a guy after the fight is over? You’re out for good. Evidently, however, expressing your displeasure over the decision in a post fight interview by essentially saying “I don’t want to play any more and I’m taking my ball and going home” is not a significant enough show of poor sportsmanship. I disagree. Okay, maybe it isn’t enough to boot him from the UFC (assuming he changes his mind and wants to un-quit), but it is certainly enough not to reward him with a rematch.
So, okay, letting Diaz have a rematch is a no-win for the UFC in terms of upholding standards. Why is it a no-win for Carlos? Obviously, one would assume that a loss in the rematch would leave the question of who fights GSP up in the air. Additionally, there is the possiblitity he could win, but sustain an injury; I’m sure Dana would jump on that to have an excuse for a Diaz-GSP fight rather than wait for Carlos to heal. That’s all pretty pretty routine for a contender, however.
The biggest reason it is a no-win for Condit lies in what appears to be expected of Carlos in the rematch. Those who are outspoken against the decision are saying they don’t like a smart fight, and don’t want him to fight smart again. They want Carlos to dump strategy and fight the dumb man’s fight. They want him to slug it out with Diaz. They want Diaz to win another victory by once again getting someone to do what Nick wants. They want to pressure Carlos into playing right into Nick’s hands by fighting Nick’s fight.
The bottom line is there is only one thing Carlos can gain from the rematch. He can gain the respect of those who wanted the first fight to be fought Diaz’ way – a slugfest. If he fights and wins through a strategic fight (I’m sure it would change, but it still wouldn’t be “stand in front of him and fight his fight”) he gains nothing – the same haters will continue to hate. Yes, his pockets will be better lined with cash, but is it worth running the risk of missing out on the chance to become the UFC Champion just to prove something to people who can’t appreciate that there is honor in the UFC, and honor in fighting a smart fight?