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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Jordan Breen on why Carlos Condit vs. GSP is a better fight than Nick Diaz vs. GSP

By Zach Arnold | September 10, 2011

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Commentary from Jordan Breen:

“I like the Condit fight more. I think if someone’s going to hurt and ruin Georges St. Pierre, it’s one-shot business. You hit him in the face, he’s crushed, he’s on weak legs, you follow up, you put him away. You follow that Matt Serra blueprint. Death by a million cuts is what Nick Diaz employs and that’s not how Georges St. Pierre loses. Nick Diaz beats a guy, beats a guy, beats a guy, and then finally its just one body shot too much, there’s a straw that breaks the camel’s back, and that dude goes down and he’s toast. Georges St. Pierre is someone that if he even gets to the second level of Red Alert, if he takes a flush punch to the face, you’re probably looking at a knee tap or a power-double or something to get that dude on the mat.

“So, in terms of actual style, I don’t think that Nick Diaz was ever a guy to really be seriously threatening to Georges St. Pierre. I mean, he’s a still great Welterweight and still deserves a crack, but I didn’t think he had it. Now, Carlos Condit, he still has poor takedown defense and it’s probably going to be the thing that does him in in this fight. He’s going to be taken down, he’s going to get beat up, he’s probably going to have his guard passed. He can try to reclaim it but there’s going to be a lot of top-position hustle going on. That said, Carlos Condit is long and has some reach like Nick Diaz but he’s a more well-rounded striker, he kicks more, he knees more, he elbows more, and now he’s even become a puncher. Carlos Condit used to kind of punch like a wet noodle, he used to kind of fight in a way (like) Diego Nunes where he circles around and kicks a lot and does that kind of thing. More aggressive, but he didn’t have punches in his game. Ever since he really starched Dan Hardy with these nasty, nasty punches we’ve started to see a more serious puncher come out in Carlos Condit. Then, turns around to the Dong Hyun-Kim fight, rips his face off with a flying knee. Dong Hyun-Kim is a guy who might have cardio issues but historically has been able to take a pretty darn good lick and he just wiped him out with that flying knee.

“Carlos Condit actually has that one-strike power that can rattle a guy’s brain and get the snowball rolling down the hill. I don’t know that Nick Diaz could have done that. So, based on the most likely way for someone to actually beat Georges St. Pierre and overcome the physical and technical abilities that he has, I think they have to land that one hard crushing shot standing and I think now you actually have the chance to see that with Carlos Condit where we probably didn’t have that chance with Nick Diaz.

“As pointed out repeatedly and ad nauseam at this point, just not as interesting for most people. But the PPV buys, though? I think more than anything the PPV buys for UFC 137 will reflect how many people are simply interested in Georges St. Pierre for Georges St. Pierre because in Condit you definitely have a hardcore fan’s pleasure. The only people that are going to share the thought that I just shared are people who watch a lot of Mixed Martial Arts and who care on that level. Just most people who want to go and see a scrap and know the guys involved probably prefer Nick Diaz and will be bummed that he’s not in the fight and perhaps justifiably so.

“Condit actually tries to sweep and get up off his back, he strikes from his back. Diaz just lays there and goes for submissions and always seems amazed when he ends up losing a decision as a result of it. So, that’s one angle. And the other is Condit & Diaz might be similarly competent strikers but Condit strikes with a lot more tools and a lot more power and, as I said, I don’t think Georges St. Pierre’s ever going to be the guy who goes down from a million cuts. You got to slice the throat pretty quick. If you just hurt him a little bit, a teensy bit, you’re just going to get taken down and assaulted. What’s the point? You need the homerun… because one strike is what you need to get the ball rolling, it can’t just be 11 million punch combinations. You think Nick Diaz is going to get the chance to land (on GSP) the kind of shots he put on Paul Daley? Not a chance in hell.”

The larger point about why Nick Diaz deserved punishment for no-showing his press duties

In response to a caller who says that Roy Jones Jr. skipped out on press conferences and it didn’t hurt fan interest in his big fights and how there’s a double standard being applied to Nick Diaz here…

“Do you really think that Fox officials look at this and think, ‘oh, this is great, we can sell this.’ They’re horrified. This isn’t about selling a fight. It’s not about a press conference at all. It’s about professional decorum and doing the things necessary to help a product and help yourself and help your brand and all these things. I mean, if Nick Diaz didn’t get show up to any press conferences and showed up to fight, would it make a difference? Maybe not, I mean I’m sure he’d probably lose a five-round decision anyways if he did show up to fight. But that’s not the point.

“First of all, the fact that he’s done it serially… I mean, it’s not like he missed one press conference. He missed repeated flights, no one could find him, he ran out of his home when his trainer… Georges St. Pierre is trained by Greg Jackson and so forth. Nick Diaz has a second father in Cesar Gracie and he ran out of his home and ran away. He’s in no position to be even training to fight on this level, not a chance.

“On top that, it’s about everything else. It’s not about a fight. It’s about sponsors looking at the UFC and going, ‘you can’t even make your fighters show up, you’re a joke, how can we pay you money?’ It’s about Fox looking and going, ‘wait, you guys have press conferences and you just let your fighters not show up? Really? Like, you think that’s acceptable?’ So, it’s not about him missing one press conference. If it was, I mean, it’s happened before. Nick Diaz has missed ton of press conferences and people go ‘oh.’ This is different. It’s a concentrated chain of self-destructive behavior that went on for a week, culminating in this.

“Put it this way — if you don’t think this was a big deal why do you think Cesar Gracie reacted the way he did? If Nick Diaz normally killed someone Cesar Gracie would typically be the first guy to go, ‘yeah, he was in Nick’s face, Nick didn’t do anything wrong.’ Cesar Gracie’s that guy. What do you think it says that a guy who essentially has another son in Nick Diaz goes, ‘he’s a 28 year old man, he needs to take responsibility for himself.’ You don’t think that suggests a different situation?”

Why fans have celebrated Nick Diaz’s act for so long & what his fans do next

“I think if you do want a look at the fact that Nck Diaz does have something askew inside his psyche, again, look at the comparison to his brother Nate. They’re highly similar people brought up in a highly similar environment and unlike most brother they don’t try to diverge and have different interests. Nick and Nate… these guys train together, eat together, do a lot of things together, share largely the same circle of friends, these brothers don’t get away from one another all that often, whether professionally or personally and, yet, when you really look at it and meet them they’re different people. And the thing that comes across strongly is I would describe Nate more aggro and in-your-face, Nick is normally more stand-offish unless provoked and he said as much quietly in the past and even sometimes outwardly in the media, I mean he has problems with social anxiety and doesn’t like, as I said, fitting in and playing the game and all these things.

“And I think the nature of the UFC is a lot different. It’s one thing for him to show up at a Strikeforce press conference after he fights and have a couple of hardcore fight journalists there field questions at him… I mean, when you’re dealing with, your second father, the man’s who’s trained you for over a decade, Cesar Gracie, shows up to your home and you run out the back door, this is not garden variety ‘Nick Diaz being Nick Diaz.’ This isn’t the equivalent of Manny Ramirez taking a day off in a 162 game baseball season and going to have a drink at a local bar and watch his team on TV much to the chagrin of the Red Sox. No, it’s not that dynamic.

“I think people have talked too much about Nick Diaz’s issues in the wrong light… It’s sad. This is a guy who is a talented fighter, not the greatest Welterweight in the world but a talented, exciting, and in many cases popular fighter who many people like watching fight who simply has massive psychological issues that often either result in him making a fool out of himself or reflect poorly on him when he does things like this.

“So, as far as the Nick Diaz situation goes, I do think Dana White may have overreacted in a ridiculous way but even if I like the Condit/GSP fight more forthright and directly, I really think that… I think that people really do need to take a good, hard look and the psycho and social elements of Nick Diaz right now. And consider the fact that in sports there’s a lot of things that go on. At the end of the day, these are still people. That’s the thing that often gets forgotten. For most people who are Nick Diaz fans, they look from a long, long distance away and think, ‘oh, yeah, Nick Diaz, he’s a great fighter, whatever.’ But Nick Diaz is also a dude, he’s just a guy, he’s a guy in his late 20’s who makes some horrible decisions who in addition to being a great fighter is also a really, really flawed person in a lot of ways and it shouldn’t be surprising. MMA attracts a certain kind of person in many cases who’s often given to not being the most well-adjusted person. I mean, MMA is a sport that, yeah, your average dude can love and compete in. But at the same time this sport attracts a different breed for a great many reasons and sometimes it plays out negatively in a very, very obvious fashion. But we shouldn’t be surprised. We court these kinds of personalities and in the case of Nick Diaz maybe celebrate them to excess. It’s kind of scary the amount of joy in which we derive in other people’s neuroses or psychopathy or just mental anxiety and anguish.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 11 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

11 Responses to “Jordan Breen on why Carlos Condit vs. GSP is a better fight than Nick Diaz vs. GSP”

  1. EJ says:

    Can’t believe i’m actually going to say this but Breen is 100% right on everything he said, man I feel so dirty after saying that.

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Zuffa has always sent a direct message to the fighters that things will happen on their terms. It’s been that way for a long time.

    It’s a necessary element in a sport where so many different interests are always at stacks. It’s the only way to control the chaos. It’s why companies like Strikeforce were so out of control at some points. You can’t let the inmates run the asylum.

  3. lulzy says:

    Breen is the ultimate GSP apologist.

    If fox people were “horrified” why was he back on the card the next day.

    Dana fucked this up big time.

  4. David M says:

    Strikeforce tonight was awesome! Luke Rockhold–a star is born! I have thought very highly of Jacare and he totally neutralized his grappling, dominated the striking, and showed a wide variety of punches and kicks, tremendous heart, and a sturdy chin.

    Cormier is an animal, as is Barnett. How many dudes at hw would be favored over Cormier? Or Barnett for that matter?

    I think King Mo is also UFC quality. He is a bit too independent for what Dana wants though, lol.

  5. lulzy says:

    Also, the caller didn’t say there was a double standard per say.

    Big time boxers blow off press conferences all the time. Roy Jones Jr, Tyson Fury, Arce, Bundrage, Ect. ect. This just shows White’s immaturity in handling the game the he claims to have an iron grip on. He should be worried about making the best and biggest money fight he can, not some press conference that nobody even watches but the media.

    There are reports that this freaked out FOX executives and maybe that is why White overreacted. If that’s the case they need to harden the fuck up because this is pretty minor in comparison to what could happen. You look at Football players who get arrested for dog fighting and shit like that, this is nothing. Worse will come down the pipe and Dana can’t freak out every time. Fox made their deal and we’re here to stay. Also, if it is such a huge deal for the card why is Diaz right back on that card? Diaz vs Penn is the fight people are talking about. That is the fight that will sell this card, no doubt.

    Dana could have spun this to make Nick a bigger bad guy to build up even more tension for the event, WHILE getting nick some real help from a sports psychologist. If he really cared about the fans or the fighter THAT would have been his choice of action, not crying on stage with GSP like two jilted schoolgirls. Like Gracie said he could also could have just fined Diaz. More Bad guy publicity. More build up. Better sales come fight night.

    Dana White didn’t do his job. Dana let the fans down.

    Diaz is doing his job by training, and he WILL show up for any fight. Yeah maybe he’s not a star employee because he blows off these web events, that are hard to find, and that nobody watches, but so what. Walk a mile in his shoes.

  6. Shrader says:

    I have never heard of this Jordan Breen, but I completely agree with him as well. This is one of the best written MMA articles I have seen, and I hope more writers/journalists of this caliber start following the sport and covering it in such a thoughtful manner. This is a lot more than just covering a fight, this was an article that explored deeper elements of almost every aspect of this situation, including Nick Diaz’s neuroses, which, while very entertaining at times (I am also guilty of viewing him in the way mentioned in the article), it is also very sad.

    Great article, I will be looking for more from Jordan Breen.

    • david m says:

      Jordan Breen has always struck me as a pompous douche, but I will give him credit, he clearly has graduated from high school, unlike most mma columnists.

  7. bezzarguy says:

    Best breakdown of the fight i’ve read yet. I realize i have been reading blogs by fanboys for fanboys. Good to read somthing by someone who has an understanding of MMA

  8. […] Why Carlos Condit vs. GSP is a better fight than Nick Diaz vs. GSP | Fight Opinion […]

  9. […] In other words, the same standard line we always see with St. Pierre for his title fights. If you’re looking for a ray of sunshine as to why Condit stands a chance, read what Jordan Breen said here. […]

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