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By: Jason Amadi, MMATorch Columnist
The fighting style that Nick Diaz has crafted over the last few years is perhaps the most crowd pleasing style in all of mixed martial arts. The flat footed volume punching of the former Strikeforce Welterweight Champion has galvanized fans to his cause so vigorously that Carlos Condit, one of the sport's premier finishers, was summarily criticized for refusing to plant his feet and throw with the Stockton native in the main event of UFC 143.
Because Nick Diaz pressed straight forward the entire fight and Condit moved backwards for much of it, it appeared to many that Condit's evasive strategy was simply him trying to win the only way he could. However, it deserves mention that Nick Diaz was trying to win the only way he could as well.
Regardless of whatever Diaz's issues with diplomacy and media engagements may be, the man is no fool; Nick Diaz doesn't willingly engage in firefights with the sport's most dangerous athletes because he wants to put on a show for the fans or because he thinks that's the way fights are supposed to be contested; Nick Diaz willingly engages in firefights because that's his surest path to victory against virtually everyone.
Diaz has a granite chin, possesses perhaps the best recovery in the sport, his pace and conditioning are second to none and he sets records with the volume of his punches almost every time he steps into the cage. Nick Diaz is simply designed to fight the way he fights, and not many other fighters are. But like I said before, he essentially has to fight that way.
The fact is, Nick Diaz isn't the fastest guy in the world; his kicks are slow and telegraphed, he exhibits little to no footwork in his fights and his takedowns aren't good enough to get fights to the floor consistently against even mid-level opposition. Diaz he needs to draw fighters into his type of fight and he does this in a very, very specific way.
When Nick Diaz fights, he isn't looking to slug it out in the middle of the cage, he's looking to press forward, trap his opponents in a corner and hooks to the head and body until his hand gets raised. With his opponents standing completely still and trapped against the fence Diaz doesn't need footwork, he doesn't need speed, and he doesn't need tons of defense.
Trapped in a corner, Nick Diaz was able to hack apart Takanori Gomi, B.J. Penn, Paul Daley, Evangelista Santos, Frank Shamrock, Scott Smith and countless others with his flat footed, volume punching style of attack. And everyone who picked Diaz to defeat Carlos Condit figured that he would do the same to him.
The idea that Condit is deserving of consternation for circling off the fence and back to the center of the Octagon is asinine. It isn't as if Diaz was looking to keep the fight in some sort of neutral area and exchange punches with Condit; Diaz wanted him motionless and trapped against the cage.
Considering the stakes of the bout, why would anyone give Diaz the kind of fight that he needs to succeed?
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