According to some MMA pundits, we are all supposed to be feeling sorry for welterweight contender Carlos Condit right now. The Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter famously burst into tears when he heard he had been granted a title shot by UFC President Dana White. Now that magnificent opportunity has been unceremoniously yanked away, the football in Lucy's classic practical joke on MMA's new Charlie Brown. Suddenly Condit wasn't the mighty contender knocking on Georges St. Pierre's door. He was a potential Rashad Evans - a cautionary tale. A contender in perpetual limbo.
Bloody Elbow's Josh Nason says "even though it's sport, the game is still show business and you have to give the people what they want first." Suggesting, of course, that Condit was the sporting choice, Diaz a concession to economics. I can't sign off on that. Diaz is the right choice for both sport and box office. He demolished B.J. Penn in a way few others have ever done.That his fight with GSP should do boffo box office numbers is just icing on a great cake.
Diaz's transcendent performance over the weekend can't be overlooked. He simply dominated Penn in the last two rounds. Yes, he has weaknesses in his game, primarily an inability to stop his opponent from punching him in the face. But any military strategist will concede that a war of attrition can be damned effective - and no one does it better than Nick Diaz.
His swarming style, fists flying from all angles, a non stop cacophony of violence, was a wonder to behold. Some say his punches don't pack much power. Perhaps that's true. Perhaps Penn was mauled by the fistic equivalent of one thousand beautiful butterflies. The bruises aren't any less real - the ribs no less broken.
The truth is that Condit's title shot was a gift. He didn't earn it in the cage by running through a string of top contenders. It was granted to him when Diaz didn't show up for consecutive press conferences. How can a title shot earned that way be sacrosanct? Easy come, as they say, easy go. Condit was given the shot when Diaz messed up. He lost his shot when Diaz did something amazing. Either way, it was Diaz's shot. Condit just kept it warm for a time.