If you think its a bit early to be announcing a “bet of the year” you would probably be correct. With a full 11 months of MMA action to look forward to, if one wants to declare the best bet of 2012 in January you better have damn good reason. Fortunately, this is precisely how strongly I feel about my belief that Nick Diaz will almost certainly win a decision victory over Carlos Condit via cleverly placed, unrelenting punches. At -170, Diaz is a great bet....
Aside from sharing copious genetic material and being long time training partners , the Diaz brothers have developed very similar skill sets, no doubt having learned from one another over the course of a shared lifetime. Despite having moderate wrestling skills, their Jiu-Jitsu is deadly enough to scare most opponents away from even attempting a take down and their submission IQ is high enough to make them nearly impossible to tap or choke out. On the feet they are equally deadly, possessing some of the most technically complete boxing in MMA, peppering their opponents with accurate, well timed, high volume punches that leave fighters bewildered, frustrated and in a constant state of defense. Though they prefer more of a pure boxing attack, their striking defense is complete enough to defend against the most well-rounded array of kick, punches, knees and elbows. If they have a weakness it is an over-abundance of patience, which allows strong wrestlers to run out the clock against them while controlling position on the mat.
If possible, the similarities between Cerrone and Condit are perhaps even more striking. Both have: a diverse striking attack, KO power, great chins, excellent endurance and durability, excellent offensive guards, tall, lanky builds with reach, prefer to stand and trade shots unless taken down by their opponents, never use their wrestling offensively and brandish aggressive styles. They also share a less fortunate trait- they get hit a lot. Given their shared ability to take a punch, this had not presented a problem for either fighter until they met the Diaz brothers. We saw Cerrone absorb several deadly blows from Razor Rob before wearing the former champ down with his own shots and we watched Condit exchange power lead hooks with Dan Hardy (Hardy rendered unconscious and Condit barely phased). Unfortunately for Condit, as we saw in Diaz-Cerrone, Nick Diaz is going to present him with a different kind of striking problem, a barrage of precision punching that doesn’t separate you from consciousness, but gradually wrestles away your will to mount an effective offense.
Condit is as game as they come and has excellent cardio so expect 5 full rounds of entertaining action, albeit one-sided action. Add to these factors Diaz’s endless gas tank and ability to thrive in late rounds, as well as the fact that due to opponent withdrawal (GSP) Condit will be coming up on 7 months of inactivity and you have a recipe for a 5 round shut out victory for Nick Diaz.
At -170 this is a steal.