By Zach Arnold | February 8, 2012
You generally book rematches in the fight game based on one of two reasons: a) the first bout was so good or so close that there’s a clamor by the fans to see it again or b) you didn’t get the outcome you wanted as the promoter the first time around. I call reason b) the “Kiyoshi Tamura/Valentijn Overeem” scenario, based on a famous RINGS fight where Tamura, who had been pushed hard as the company’s ace, got destroyed in a shoot out of nowhere and the promotion went right into damage control.
With the news breaking tonight that we’re going to get Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz in a re-match, I think it’s fair to say that you can squarely classify this rematch as a scenario where the promotion didn’t get what they wanted for the initial outcome.
With Georges St. Pierre on the sidelines for a long time to come due to a torn ACL, the Welterweight picture is muddled as far as what to do for bookings on the calendar. If Nick Diaz had won, he would have sat out and waited for St. Pierre. With Carlos Condit winning, it seemed that there was plenty of pressure for him to fight again. Who would it be, though? Jake Ellenberger? Josh Koscheck? Neither scenario seemed to be all that enthusiastically pursued, as Condit’s agent Malki Kawa expressed disinterest in a Condit/Ellenberger fight during an interview with Mauro Ranallo on The MMA Show. So, we end up with Zuffa pushing the reset button.
Hey, maybe they’ll get the outcome they wanted the first time round. Nick Diaz, The Corporately-backed Bad Boy from the 209.
If UFC is booking this rematch because they are hopeful that Nick Diaz will win the rematch, I guess I can understand that logic (even if I don’t agree with it). However, if they are booking this rematch based on the loud criticism of the minority of Nick Diaz boosters & fighters online complaining about the outcome of the UFC 143 fight, that would be an impulsively reactive decision by Zuffa management to listen to the online bubble of MMA fans. The world map that UFC put on their web site claiming global sentiment for the outcome of Diaz/Condit was 47%/47% is just bizarre.
Don’t get me wrong. I understand why Carlos Condit wouldn’t mind a rematch with Nick Diaz — because he thinks he can beat him again. I understand why Nick Diaz wants a rematch. What I don’t see is how the rematch is going to produce a dramatically different outcome unless Condit gives up the Greg Jackson counter-strategy that we saw at UFC 143 and decides to go for broke in order for Nick to have a better chance to knock him out.
So, if you hated the outcome of the first fight and the way the judges scored it, what makes you inclined to believe that you want to see the rematch if the fans were bored with the way the fight played out the first time?
I thought Carlos Condit won the fight and that he would stay on the sidelines waiting for St. Pierre to recover. He fought a smart fight. If you look at UFC as a real sport, then Carlos Condit used a real sports strategy to win. It was as ugly as the New Jersey Devils’ infamous neutral zone trap… but it was effective. However, it is clear that the criticism from fighters and fans about the way Condit fought at UFC 143 has annoyed his camp. Just look at the comments Greg Jackson made during an interview yesterday with USA Today:
“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,” says Greg Jackson, one of the best-known trainers of athletes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. “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?”
That’s not the kind of thing you say if you think the masses are happy with the way the fight played out at UFC 143. I suppose the UFC hype machine will make you want to see Diaz/Condit II but it’s not like the company will be able to change the impression many had after watching the outcome of the first fight. Maybe Nick Diaz’s biggest female booster, Ronda Rousey, will fill in for him on the impending Countdown show and be his spokeswoman on why Nick was yet again victimized by The Man.
Speaking of Ronda, here’s Miesha Tate saying the woman is delusional.
“I don’t really listen to much of anything Ronda says. I don’t watch her interviews. I get a little bit of that drift that comes through Twitter, you know, quoting people, ‘oh, she said this, she said that.’ And half the time I really honestly think it just makes her sound like an idiot. I mean, that’s just being brutally honest. I think she’s pretty delusional. I’ve yet to see Ronda actually fight. I’ve seen her go out and do her judo and whatnot but she hasn’t ever brought a fight and that’s what I”m going to do. I’m going to make this a fight and anything that she says is used as motivation, definitely.”
You’ll be happy to know that, on a 1-5 scale, this is how Bas Rutten sees the two ladies measuring up for their March bout:
Miesha Tate: Striking (4), Wrestling (5), Grappling (4), Speed (4), Strength (4), Endurance (5)
Ronda Rousey: Striking (3), Wrestling (4), Grappling (5), Speed (5), Strength (4), Endurance (4)