Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In the hours after Carlos Condit's close but unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz at UFC 143, UFC president Dana White seemed to warm up to the possibility of a rematch between the two. After all, it may be nine months or more until division champion Georges St-Pierre returns to fight the interim champion, a lengthy wait.
But at least for now, the Condit camp seems uninterested in the possibility of Condit-Diaz II. On Monday afternoon, his manager Malki Kawa told MMA Fighting that the new interim champion would be much more likely to set his sights on unifying the interim and linear titles.
"At this point, [a rematch] is not something we’re looking to do," he said. "We're looking for Georges. People forget, Carlos waited a long time to get this fight. He was moved around, and shuffled around between fights. He won the fight. It doesn't interest us at all. I think clearly and decisively, he won the fight. Even [UFC president] Dana [White] scored it for him. All of the opinions that matter scored Carlos as winner."
In addition to pointing out the unanimous judges' decision as well as White's opinion, Kawa noted that fight statistics showed Condit out-landing Diaz. FightMetric stats had Condit landing 159 total strikes, and Diaz landing 117.
"It was a performance that was excellent," Kawa said. "He picked apart a very formidable fighter. Two judges saw it four rounds to one, and one saw it three to two. The fact that he didn't stand and bang with him? I'm sorry, not every fighter has to do that. He did what he had to do, and that goes to show me that this guy is mature, he's fighting fights that are smart.
"People are like, 'Oh, Carlos is not a finisher,'" he continued. "The guy threw how many spinning elbows? How many spinning back fists? He threw a flying knee. He tried to finish Nick Diaz when the time and the opening was there. I can't find a flaw in his performance."
Even in defeat, Diaz managed to steal the spotlight from Condit by saying he would retire due to his frustration with the judging. Kawa said that was no concern of Condit's, whose only goal has been to be the champion.
After a six-month training cycle due to various opponent switches, Condit will take some time off before he finalizes his next move.
"Carlos is a fighter," Kawa said. "At the end of the day, this is not a guy who wants to sit around and wait. He wants to fight. You never know. Right now, the idea is that we want Georges St-Pierre. The goal is to fight Georges St-Pierre. He wants to be the best in the world, so that's the fight that interests us at this moment."
And as for a rematch first?
For now, forget it. Though it's ultimately Condit's decision, his manager and advisor isn't keen on it.
"The fans disagree [with the decision] because they got hyped up to see Nick & Georges fight each other," Kawa said. "Well, let them fight each other. We’ve moved on."
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