Carlos Condit is the proud new owner of the UFC’s interim welterweight title after outpointing Nick Diaz over the course of five rounds at UFC 143 on Saturday night, but the manner in which he won has resulted in a backlash not just from fans, but also some of his fellow professionals.
The major issue people seem to have with his unanimous decision victory is that he adopted an evasive strategy, avoiding going toe-to-toe with the former Strikeforce champion and instead choosing to use movement to circle away from him and counter-strike when the opportunity arose.
The negative reactions to that gameplan quickly flooded in after Condit had his hand raised following the fight.
“If I wanted to see a man run for 25 minutes I’d go to a track meet,” wrote Strikeforce star Ronda Rousey on Twitter.
TUF fighter Cody Mckenzie agreed with that cutting remark, noting, “Wow really goes to show you how bad these judges suck. Carlos ran the entire time,” while Josh Neer added, “Carlos was doing the Forrest Gump #runforestrun.”
“@nickdiaz209 won that fight in my opinion,” UFC hall-of-famer Royce Gracie tweeted. “He is what every fighter should be a true martial artists who comes to fight. Well prepared and with a gameplan. Not one that [involves] running from a fight. Why come to fight if you gonna run?”
Continuing the trend Mark Munoz complained, “I don’t c how running away like that earns some1 UFC gold. What a joke.”
Needless to say Nick’s brother Nate Diaz was also none to pleased, claiming that, “If there wasnt a fence to keep condit in he would of ran all the way back to new mexico.”
On Monday after having had time to reflect on the fight Diaz coach Cesar Gracie was still finding Condit’s tactics hard to swallow and he continued to stir up the anti-running sentiments.
“Carlos was running at one point, and Nick slapped him in the face said, ‘Quit running.’ We were there for a dogfight. Carlos said he’d provide for the fans a dogfight, a great fight where they were going to go at it. That was not a dogfight. It takes two to make a dogfight. One guy running away is not a dogfight,” Gracie told TheMMAShow.
Of course Gracie is close to the situation so naturally he’s upset about the outcome, but he wasn’t the only coach to be up in arms about it.
“I am done teaching guys to fight! Gonna teach them to run like bitch & hold guys down like a bitch it wins!” grumbled Duke Roufus.
Not everybody was hating on Condit though.
For example, the UFC’s new on-air personality, former MMA Live host Jon Anik applauded Condit’s gameplan.
“Carlos Condit’s championship execution would be lauded in any other pro sport. Diaz is outstanding. That’s how you beat him,”
Despite being known for toe-to-toe wars himself, Stephan Bonnar also praised the new interim champ.
“All I gotta say is #followingthegameplantoaT . Congrats to the natty born killer!”
Jon Fitch, who’s been much maligned himself over the years for his approach to fighting was unsurprisingly also backing Condit, writing, “I think condit won,” while TJ Grant declared, “Props to the underdog … He deserved the fight. Great performance.”
Finally, Condit’s coach Greg Jackson had his says on the matter and did his best to shoot down the naysayers, some of the whom had pinpointed him personally as the man who was the masterermind behind ‘The Natural Born Killer’s’ fight-winning performance.
“There’s still a large contingent of people, that they just want to see these guys almost die, or the other guy almost die and come back, and sometimes fights are like that,” Jackson told USAToday. “But sometimes you get technical masterpieces too, and to hate a beautiful, technical fight — you’re not really a fight fan. You’re just there to watch the car wrecks, you know what I mean?”