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Condit didn't fight scared, but smart

The fight between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz said so much about mixed martial arts, it's hard to know where to start.

It doesn't matter who you thought won -- I had Condit 48-47, giving him Rounds 1, 3 and 4 -- there's no debating the closeness of the contest. Instead, controversy, if you want to call it that, has centered on the way Condit dared to approach the fight.

Was he chicken? Did he run from Diaz?

Or was he smart? Did he move judiciously and pick his spots?

This is not a case of semantics; the implications here mean a lot.

When it's said that a fighter "ran" from his opponent, the insinuation is he or she didn't want to fight. (See: Kalib Starnes.) I'm sorry, that wasn't at all what Condit did against Diaz at UFC 143. The new UFC interim welterweight champion wanted to fight, just not on anyone's terms but his own.

According to FightMetric, the official stats supplier to the UFC, Condit outlanded Diaz 151 to 105 in significant strikes, 159 to 117 in total strikes. Yep, Condit connected more than Diaz. Not only that, he set a UFC record for kicks in a bout. Compare what Diaz did to B.J. Penn -- 237 strikes landed in a three-round fight -- to the 117 strikes he landed in five rounds Saturday.

Plain and simple, Condit's movement and execution threw off Diaz's output and rhythm.

So: chicken or smart?

Shouldn't the onus have been on Diaz to alter his attack, to recognize what Condit attempted to do and switch things up? Cut off the cage maybe? Or when he got inside, use the clinch to his advantage and go to the floor? Because when he went there briefly in the fifth, Diaz did very well.

And that's why I need someone to answer this for me: Why should Condit have provided the best volume puncher in MMA the opportunity to unload on him? I can't figure it out, and thusly I can't decipher what Diaz or his fans have complained about.

Maybe they just want to see mixed martial artists beat each other up. Is that it? Forget tactics. Forget game plans.

You want Toughman?

Hey, any dope can step in a cage and beat the hell out of someone. I truly hope MMA never recedes into that cesspool way of thinking. There's far too much skill, far too much intelligence in this sport to have it rendered down to that primordial level.

Josh Gross covers MMA for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at JoshGrossESPN.