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UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit Main Card Breakdown

| February 3, 2012 | Reply

As you all know, this weekend is the biggest football game of the season as the New England Patriots face the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. However, on Saturday night, live from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV we have UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit. When the card was originally scheduled, Georges St. Pierre was supposed to defend his Welterweight Championship against Nick Diaz, but a knee injury forced him to withdraw and Carlos Condit was pulled from his bout with Josh Koscheck and chosen to replace him.

The main event will still be a title fight though as Diaz and Condit will fight for an Interim Welterweight Championship match and the winner will face GSP down the road to unify the two Welterweight titles. Besides the main event the night’s main card is fully of interesting bouts, let’s take a look at the new Main Card fights and see how they break down.

The first bout of the PPV broadcast is a Middleweight scrap between Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (19-7) and Clifford Starks (8-0). Herman, a BJJ Black Belt, will definitely have his hands full with Starks who is a former D-I wrestler and teammate of Cain Velasquez at ASU. Although he is more known for his submission skills, Herman is no stranger to knockouts and may need to dig deep into his repertoire to finish Starks. The undefeated Starks made his UFC debut as a last-minute replacement at UFC 137 and went home victorious by way of decision.

Up next, in a battle of Bantamweights, Renan Barão (27-1-1) will face off against Scott “Youn Guns” Jorgensen (13-4). In another grappler vs. grappler bout, you can expect this fight to hit the mat and spend a lot of time there. Although neither man is known for his striking, they do have a few knockouts between them so you can never rule that out. Being a Bantamweight contest, this fight will probably be high-energy no matter where they decide to take it. Look for Jorgensen to try and use his wrestling to control Renan en route to a decision and for Renan to look to submit Jorgy with his BJJ.

The next fight of the evening brings us to the Welterweight Division as Josh Koscheck (16-5) takes on Mike Pierce (13-4). Pierce is taking a big step up in competition as he fills the void that Carlos Condit left. Leading up to the fight, many people, including Koscheck, have looked at Pierce as a “nobody” and a “boring fighter”, he has just as many decision victories as Koscheck and one more KO victory. Even though this is another grappler vs. grappler bout, these two men do have decent striking and could make this a stand up fight. If Pierce can collect a victory over Koscheck, his stock in the Welterweight division will improve greatly.

The Co-Main Event of the evening features two of the most underrated grapplers in the Heavyweight division as Roy “Big Country” Nelson (16-6) squares off against Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum (14-5-1). Although they may not look like it, both men are BJJ Black Belts and very comfortable working on the mat. With twenty-six combined finishes between the two men (13 KOs, 13 SUBs) don’t expect this fight to reach the final bell; especially since neither man has a favorable decision win:loss ratio. Expect Big Country to come out throwing heavy leather and trying to work some dirty boxing against the cage. Werdum, however, may look to take the fight to the ground, where he feels he has the advantage. Regardless of where the fight ends up, both men will have the capabilities to end the fight at any moment. With talks of Overeem’s legal issues, the winner of this fight may move into a Number One Contender’s fight in their next bout.

The highly anticipated Main Event of the evening is for the Interim Welterweight Championship as former Strikeforce Champion Nick Diaz (26-7-1) takes on former WEC Champion “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit (27-5). These two men’s paths have ran side-by-side for the past few months before finally crossing. Back at UFC 137, Diaz was set to face GSP and Condit to face BJ Penn. However, due to some failed PR obligations, Diaz was pulled from his championship bout and Condit was his replacement, unltimately leaving Diaz to fight BJ. Unfortunately for Condit, GSP got injured in training camp, so only Diaz’s fight took place and Condit opted to wait for GSP in early 2012. Following another twist of fate after Diaz defeated BJ Penn he leapfrogged Condit into a fight with GSP only to have GSP pull out once again due to injury.

With GSP set to be sidelined for a while, Diaz and Condit will butt heads with the Interim Championship on the line. Because of both men possessing a never-back-down fighting style, you can expect an all-out war from moment the cage doors lock. Although it is highly unlikely, should this fight go all five rounds, you an expect to have seen one of the most intense fights in recent history. The winner of this fight will meet Georges St. Pierre somewhere down the line to unify championships and crown a true UFC Welterweight Champion.

Every single fight on this card will be broadcast throughout the night. The first two bouts will be broadcast on the UFC’s Facebook page, immediately followed by four more bouts on FX and finally the PPV broadcast starting at 7pm PT/10pm ET.

UFC 143 will also mark the end of an era as the beloved Gladiator will be ushered out to make way for a new PPV opener. Come Saturday night, we will have a new opening sequence for PPV bouts, a new Interim Welterweight Champion and possibly a new challenger for Junior Dos Santos’ Heavyweight Championship.

Be sure to stick to MMA Valor for all fight results, and join the Chat Room to discuss the night’s events as they go down!

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Tags: Carlos Condit, Clifford Starks, Ed Herman, Fabricio Werdum, Josh Koscheck, Mike Pierce, MMA, Nick Diaz, Renan Barao, Roy Nelson, Scott Jorgensen, Super Bowl Weekend, UFC, UFC 143, UFC 143 Breakdown, UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit

Category: MMA, UFC

About the Author ()

Aspiring chef turned MMA writer after financial issues prevented me from pursuing my first dream. Ever since I started watching MMA, I've read up about it and talk about it all the time and with the encouragement of family and friends I finally decided to actively pursue a career in writing about it.

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