Georges St. Pierre called him "fake crazy" and said he believes he has "mental issues." Fans have lauded him for having "attitude" and shunning tradition for an in-your-face approach centered around the fact that he plays by the rules only so much as it suits him. The Stockton bad boy act is appealing to many but after his loss to Carlos Condit in the main event of last night's (Sat., Feb. 4, 2012) UFC 143 pay-per-view (PPV) in Las Vegas, Nevada, there's one word that can describe Nick Diaz better than any other.
None of us should have been shocked by the outcome of last night's fight. Not the decision, though some are calling it controversial, but rather the manner in which the bout played out. Did we really think Condit, a cerebral assassin, would walk down the aisle, step inside the cage and go toe-to-toe with Diaz. Did we really?
If we did, it was rooted in hope instead of actual analysis. In hindsight, we all should have saw this coming, including Diaz. Condit's game plan was impeccable, suited to his style while exploiting the weaknesses still present in Diaz's game. He frustrated the California native, effectively executing the stick-and-move style that has made Frankie Edgar such a beast at 155-pounds.
It was brilliant, really. A work of art, even. This was arguably Condit's finest hour, even if he didn't break any bones with a slick submission or send his opponent off to La La Land with a big knockout. All he did was earn a 14-pound piece of gold and a promise to fight one of the greatest mixed martial artists on the planet later this year.
Diaz, meanwhile, in a sad display, told everyone he's taking his ball and going home.
Diaz is still too caught up in the outdated notion that a "fight" is two men standing in front of each other and wildly winging punches until someone falls down. On the streets of Stockton maybe that's exactly how it goes but inside the Octagon against the best the world has to offer, that's simply not the case and it never will be.
When Diaz couldn't force a flurry against the cage, he threw his hands up and started trash talking Condit in an attempt to bait him into an exchange. Instead of finding the best way to deal with Carlos before the fight, Diaz came in with the same strategy he's always had and when it didn't work out the way he wanted, he essentially threw a tantrum in the center of the cage and might as well have looked at the ref and said, "Wha, wha, he won't fight."
The next step in said tantrum? To stomp off in a huff and quit. And that's exactly what he did, telling Joe Rogan the following:
"You know I don't need this sh*t. You know what I mean? I pushed this guy backwards the whole fight. He ran from me the whole fight. I landed the harder shots. He ran the whole time. He kicked me in my leg a little bit. That was the way they understand to win in here, I don't want to play this game no more. I'll help out my team and my brother but I'm out of this sh*t."
Essentially, because Condit didn't fight Diaz the way Diaz wanted him to, Diaz is quitting.
Suddenly the bad boy act reveals itself as something entirely different. This isn't what a tough guy from the mean streets of Stockton would do. This is what a child would do when they don't get their way.
Diaz knew the game coming in. He knew his opponent was smart enough to realize that playing into his game would have been a silly miscalculation that would have cost him a title, a big fight against Georges St. Pierre and a lot of money.
This is not to say that Diaz was completely out of line. No, he applauded Condit and said he's happy for the new UFC interim welterweight champion and his family. "Good job, Carlos, you're the man, bro," he said. Credit where it's due.
But instead of vowing to come back stronger and better than ever, to work on his obvious flaws and improve his mixed marital arts game, Diaz complained about the system before exiting stage left. That's not what winners do. It's not what legends do. It's not what martial artists do.
It's what immature, inferior fighters do.