UFC 143 Preview

It has been a very strange few months for the top of the welterweight division as there have been almost a number of different matchups. It all started at UFC 137 last October when Nick Diaz would make his debut in the UFC against welterweight champions Georges St. Pierre. Except that is not what happened as Diaz had his title shot pulled due to his absence at two press conferences leading up to the fight. With Diaz out of the fight Carlos Condit was moved from the co-main event to the main event and a shot at the title. Then the plans were ruined again as Georges St. Pierre hurt his knee while training and could not fight in the pay per view. Instead St. Pierre would face off with Condit at UFC 143 for the welterweight title. With the main event at UFC 137 cancelled Nick Diaz took over the spot and fought BJ Penn. Diaz convincingly won the fight and in the post fight interview called out Georges St. Pierre claiming that he was faking the injury. The trash talk after the fight was enough to get on St. Pierre’s nerves and after the fight GSP told Dana White that he wanted Diaz in the UFC 143 fight. White moved on with that plan as Carlos Condit stepped down and instead would fight Josh Koscheck in the main card of UFC 143 while Nick Diaz would get his title shot. Yet again the plans were changed when Georges St. Pierre re-injured his knee and this time would be out for 10 months at least with an ACL tear. With the champion out of commission for the better part of a year there would be a new, albeit interim, champion in the welterweight division. Diaz would face Carlos Condit instead of GSP for the interim welterweight title as both fighters would miss out on their chance to face the champion and instead clear their path in the division and wait for St. Pierre to return. After all the changes the welterweight title will finally be up for grabs and will exchange hands for the first time since 2007. The fight will not suffer much for losing St. Pierre though as both Condit and Diaz fight a very exciting style. Diaz is a well-rounded fighter who has a black belt in jiu jitsu but rarely needs to use it. Diaz simply loves to fight and to get into a fight as he will continue to come forward while taking damage in order to finish his opponent. This style has made Diaz a very exciting fighter and has translated into success as he rides an 11 fight win streak including a reign as Strikeforce champion before entering the UFC. Across the cage will be another dangerous fighter as Carlos Condit will fight a similar style that could give Diaz a run for his money. Condit is not as wild as Diaz but still has great KO power and adding his ability to pick apart opponents with accurate kicks and punches he makes a true case for the welterweight title. Condit is currently riding a four fight win streak including 3 KOs in his last 3 fights. Condit is more than just an accurate KO artist though as he rode a 4 fight submission streak during his reign as the WEC welterweight champion. Both Diaz and Condit are well-rounded and completely comfortable wherever the fight goes. Don’t expect much ground game unless one of the fighters gets clipped with a big shot. Instead expect the fight to remain standing as both fighters will look to slug it out until one is left standing with the belt around his waist. Unfortunately for Condit he will be the one that gets KO’d as Diaz seems too well-rounded to beat. Diaz will not have an easy time though as I expect a round 4 KO in this fight with Diaz getting his fight against Georges St. Pierre and the interim welterweight champions.

The co-main event of the night will see the return of an MMA legend who will take on a rising star that has had his share of experience. Fabricio Werdum will make his return to the UFC against The Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson. Werdum had climbed up the ladder in the UFC in 2008 when he took on Junior do Santos in a fight that could have sent him into title contention. Instead he lost to the now heavyweight champion by TKO sending him out of the UFC and into Strikeforce. Werdum went on to win three of his four Strikeforce fights including two by submission. His biggest win came in 2010 when he became the first person to beat Fedor Emelianenko who was on a 28 fight win streak and was considered the best heavyweight fighter in the world. Werdum was the only fighter to stop him earning the first win against him and took this win as a ticket back to the UFC. Werdum will make his return against another veteran of MMA as Roy Nelson will try to continue his strong performance as he progresses towards a heavyweight title shot. After spending years in smaller promotions Roy Nelson joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter and showed his experience winning the six figure contract. Since he fought his way into the UFC Nelson has had an up and down career winning his first official fight in the UFC but then losing two in a row. Nelson’s last fight was a convincing win over Mirko Cro Cop when he earned a TKO victory after dominating the fight. Nelson and Werdum are looking to gain more momentum in the UFC heavyweight division as neither will get close to a title shot with a win but both could at least take another step towards the title shot as they both try to start some winning ways.

 

Fight Card:

Main Event:

Nick Diaz vs. Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit [Interim Welterweight title] (PPV)

 

Main Card:

Roy “Big Country” Nelson vs. Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (PPV)

 

Josh “Kos” Koshcheck vs. Mike Pierce (PPV)

 

Renan Barao vs. Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen (PPV)

 

Ed “Short Fuse” Herman vs. Clifford Starks (PPV)

 

Undercard:

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier vs. Max “Blessed” Holloway (Sportsnet)

 

Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres vs. Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa (Sportsnet)

 

Matt “The Immortal” Brown vs. Chris “C-Murder” Cope (Sportsnet)

 

Matthew Riddle vs. Henry “Sicario” Martinez (Sportsnet)

 

Rafael “Sapo” Natal vs. Michael Kuiper (Facebook)

 

Dan “The Anvil” Stittgen vs. Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (Facebook)

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