The 4 Year Domination Ends, For Now (UFC 143)

Georges St. Pierre had become one of those fighters in the UFC, the fighter that cleans out a division and has few challengers. There are only a few of these fighters in the UFC as Anderson Silva is a perfect example after he has cleared out the middleweight division. St. Pierre’s reign has lasted for almost 4 straight years as he has taken on every challenger and won convincingly over every one of these challengers. With most challengers gone the UFC brought in Nick Diaz to challenge the champion but after Diaz missed two press conferences the fight was cancelled and a former WEC champion, Carlos Condit was put in his place. Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit became the two major challengers to GSP’s belt as both could have provided some challenges for the calculated attack of GSP. One of these fighters would not find out if he was good enough though as St. Pierre suffered a serious knee injury that would keep him out for 10 months meaning that the two challengers would face off to see who would get to fight GSP. With GSP out for 10 months the fight between these two challengers would also see the welterweight belt put around another fighter’s waist as the belt was vacated. Of course when GSP returns he will still be the champion and the winner of the interim belt would fight the champion to unify the belt. This is what was at stake as Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz faced off on Super Bowl weekend as both wanted the belt but ultimately wanted their chance to face Georges St. Pierre to be the undisputed welterweight champion. Both of these fighters represented two very different yet similar styles of fighting. Both are BJJ Black Belts yet neither really enjoyed the ground game throughout their careers. Instead they used their BJJ as an insurance policy for fights as they used it to be able to hold their own if any fight had made it to the ground. Instead both fighters love the standing game but have some differences in how they utilize their standing game. Nick Diaz is one of the best boxers in MMA but he is anything but calculated as he looks to press his opponent against the fence and throw punches in quick succession not letting his opponent breath and eventually knocking him out. Meanwhile Carlos Condit takes a much more calculated approach to his standing game as he throws punches, kicks, knees, and elbows with precision to get the KO. The fighters took these two styles into the octagon at UFC 143 as they looked to take home the belt and a date with Georges St. Pierre. The fight saw Carlos Condit move backwards in almost every round but that was not the complete story. Condit used his calculating style to throw punches and kicks from all angles and almost all hit their mark. Condit also did everything he wanted to do in the fight as he stopped Diaz from pinning him against the cage and unloading. Instead Condit went back, touched the cage, then slipped out into the centre of the octagon. While he escaped the cage he also threw punches that scored him most of his points. Diaz wins fights by goading his opponents into a brawl with him and that is exactly what he tried to do to Condit as he continued to talk to him and continued to try to keep him against the fence. Condit did not fall into the trap though as he continued his plan and continued to do what he wanted and continued to score. Condit rarely got caught against the fence as his movement was fantastic. It wasn’t until the last round that Diaz showed some life as he took Condit down and looked to finish but Condit’s BJJ background allowed him to fend off the submission attempt. In the end Condit took the win as he did what he wanted to do throughout the fight. Diaz was able to force Condit back the entire fight but he did nothing with that landing a few shots and not really causing any damage to Condit. With the win Condit earned the Interim Welterweight Title and earned a date with Georges St. Pierre at the end of the year to unify the belts. Diaz was upset at the result and in his angry state claimed that he would never fight in MMA again because he was tired of being screwed out of fights. Whether or not Diaz was serious he did lose the fight and if he decides to return he could have a rematch with Condit on his schedule or will need a few wins in the UFC to get back to face Georges St. Pierre who wants to fight Diaz more than anyone in the UFC.

Before the Interim Welterweight Championship was decided two heavyweights faced off as both looked to take another step towards the heavyweight title. Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson would square off as Werdum made his return to the UFC after leaving years ago due to a loss to Junior dos Santos. Meanwhile Roy Nelson was looking to end his career in the UFC after winning The Ultimate Fighter and spending years in the IFL and many other promotions. After continually cutting weight over the past few fights Nelson has become a stronger and more conditioned fighter but Werdum would test that out at UFC 143. The fight was a matchup of an amazing BJJ practitioner against a great standup fighter but although Nelson has an amazing right hand he still has a black belt in BJJ. These two would face off as they both tried to build some momentum towards the heavyweight title. The fight saw Werdum show a much improved standup game that gave Nelson a run for his money. Added to this was a devastating Thai Clinch that Werdum utilized to beat up Nelson. This included a devastating knee in round one that was an easy knockout. That was if the knee landed on anyone but Roy Nelson as Big Country ate the knee and continued coming forward. Nelson did this all fight as he continued to get beat up but refused to quick as he kept coming forward and kept swinging. It was almost an amazing comeback for Nelson as well when he caught Werdum in the first with a big right hand that had Werdum wobbling. The fight continued on in the same pattern though has Nelson continued to take a beating and Werdum continued dishing it out. The fight finished with a unanimous decision for Werdum who put all heavyweights on notice that he is back and better than ever. The biggest thing taken from the fight though was the toughness of Roy Nelson as he solidified himself as the toughest heavyweight in the UFC. Although he lost he did gain a lot of respect from the UFC community and will be back and likely improved.

With the fights over the UFC and Dana White handed out their bonuses totaling $65,000 for every fighter involved. The “Knockout of the Night” went to UFC newcomer Stephen Thompson for his head kick KO of Dan Sittgen. The “Submission of the Night” went to Dustin Poirier who submitted Max Holloway with a Triangle Choke and Armbar hybrid. The Fight of the Night went to Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson for their three round co-main event war that saw Werdum take a Unanimous Decision and Roy Nelson showcase his toughness.

 

Full Results:

 

Main Event:

“The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit def. Nick Diaz [Interim Welterweight Title]

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Main Card:

Fabricio “Via Cavalo” Werdum def. Roy “Big Country” Nelson

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Josh “Kos” Koshcheck def. Mike Pierce

(Split Decision)

 

Renan Barao def. Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Ed “Short Fuse” Herman def. Clifford Starks

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 2)

 

Undercard:

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier def. Max “Blessed” Holloway

(Submission; Triangle Armbar, Rd. 1)

 

Edwin “El Feroz” Figueroa def. Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres

(Split Decision)

 

Matt “The Immortal” Brown def. Chris “C-Murder” Cope

(TKO; Ref. Stoppage due to strikes, Rd. 2)

 

Matthew “Deep Waters” Riddle def. Henry “Sicario” Martinez

(Split Decision)

 

Rafael “Sapo” Natal def. Michael Kuiper

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson def. Dan “The Anvil” Stittgen

(KO; Head Kick, Rd. 1)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC on Fuel TV: Sanchez vs. Ellenberger (February 15th; 8:00 pm)

– Live Free on Fuel TV/Sportsnet

– Omaha, Nebraska (Omaha Civic Auditorium)

– Main Event: Diego “The Dream” Sanchez vs. Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger

– Notable: Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve vs. Dave Herman

 

UFC 144: Edgar vs. Henderson (February 25th; 10:00 pm)

– Tokyo, Japan (Saitama Super Arena)

– Main Event: Frankie “The Answer” Edgar vs. Benson “Smooth” Henderson [Lightweight Title]

– Notable: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Ryan “Darth” Bader

– Notable: Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt vs. Cheick Kongo

 

UFC on FX: Alves vs. Kampmann (March 2nd; 10:00 pm)

– Free Live on FX/Sportsnet

– Sydney, Australia (Allphones Arena)

– Main Event: Thiago “Pitbull” Alves vs. Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann

– Notable: Joseph Benavidez vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani [Flyweight Tournament]

– Notable: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Ian McCall [Flyweight Tournament]

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