Saturday, February 4, 2012

UFC 143 Preview: Two Men and Half a Championship

This isn't exactly the build-up you'd want. Two guys who held titles in subsidiary Zuffa companies face off for a fake UFC belt.

Thanks to Georges St. Pierre getting injured, tonight's main event will be Carlos Condit, WEC's final welterweight champion, vs. Nick Diaz, Strikeforce's former welterweight champion.

Diaz pushed to ensure he would get a title shot upon moving to the UFC, and I am interested to see him fight GSP in the future, but I'm not sold he's winning this fight.

While Diaz is a threat on the ground, Condit has shown he is more than capable of keeping fights standing and holding his own. Condit has basically been dubbed the loser in advance, and that unnerves me here.

I believe GSP is right in his assessment that if this fight goes into the late rounds, and especially to a decision, Condit will be interim champion. And I will say that will happen.

Condit will do well enough that his leg kicks will keep Diaz at bay, the stand-up will consistently favor him, and Condit can fight from an advantageous position on the ground.

This will go the distance and Condit will win by decision.

Heavyweight Bout: Fabricio Werdum v. Roy Nelson

Let's get this out of the way: Nelson will not be knocked out. He's too tough standing up and Werdum is looking to the ground anyway.

Nelson is the more lethal fighter standing, but I am liking Werdum's speed here. I think he gets Nelson to the ground and submits him in round 1.

Welterweight Bout: Josh Koscheck v. Mike Pierce

Pierce is one hell of a wrestler, and that will keep him in the fight, but Koscheck isn't a slouch. If the fight stays standing, I have to go with Koscheck as well.

This feels like a momentum builder, and so I'll take Koscheck by KO in round 2.

Other fights (Main Card and 1 undercard)

Bantamweights: Renan Barao v. Scott Jorgensen - Barao by decision
Middleweights: Ed Herman v. Clifford Starks - Starks by decision
Featherweights: Dustin Poirier v. Max Holloway - Poirier by KO (Rd. 1)

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