With five welterweight bouts on the UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit card, including an interim 170 lbs. title bout and three top five fighters in the division, the card could be nicknamed UFC: Welterweights. The division has been ruled by Georges St. Pierre since the end of 2006, with only a brief reign by Matt Serra mixed in there. On Saturday for the first time in years a welterweight not named GSP will have a UFC belt strapped around their waist, albeit an interim one at that.
With GSP injured Carlos Condit took his place against Nick Diaz in the night main event. Condit was originally set to face fellow top five welterweight Josh Koscheck but now the AKA fighter will face Mike Pierce and remain on the night’s main card.
The main card will air live on PPV, while the preliminary card will be split between Fuel TV and the old standby, Facebook.
After going 6-4 with my UFC on FOX predictions, the overall “Bold Predictions” record got a little bit better and is now at 21-18.
Main card (PPV)
Interim 170 lbs. Championship: Nick Diaz will defeat Carlos Condit by 4th rd. TKO
- The workload from Diaz will wear down Condit as they enter the championship rounds where it will eventually be too much. Diaz might lock on a choke in the forth round but either way he’ll finish the fight and capture UFC interim gold.
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum will defeat Roy Nelson by Unanimous Decision
- Nelson could get hit by a baseball bat and would probably still be standing, so Werdum knocking him out is unlikely. Expect a primarily stand up contest with Werdum out pointing Nelson in his UFC return.
170 lbs.: Josh Koscheck will defeat Mike Pierce by Unanimous Decision
- Remember when Jon Fitch fought Mike Pierce at UFC 107? Think that fight and you’ll get what this fight is going to be like. Koscheck will probably be a little more active than Fitch was and might even score a late TKO but Pierce has yet to be finished.
135 lbs.: Renan Barão will defeat Scott Jorgensen by Split Decision
- Barao hasn’t lost in forever but will face his toughest fight to date in Jorgensen, who has only been finished once. If Barao cannot finish Jorgensen this one is going to be close on the score cards and might be anyone’s fight.
185 lbs.: Ed Herman will defeat Clifford Starks by 1st rd. Submission
- Since returning from knee injury, Herman has been on fire and Starks doesn’t have enough water to stop him here. Herman’s game is too well-rounded and should walk away with the submission of the night honors for this fight.
Preliminary card (FX)
145 lbs.: Dustin Poirier will defeat Max Holloway
170 lbs.: Matthew Riddle will defeat Henry Martinez
135 lbs.: Alex Caceres will defeat Edwin Figueroa
170 lbs.: Matt Brown will defeat Chris Cope
Preliminary card (Facebook)
170 lbs.: Dan Stittgen will defeat Stephen Thompson
185 lbs.: Rafael Natal will defeat Michael Kuiper