UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit Full fight card and Predictions
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UFC 143 is finally here. Finally! It’s no secret around here that I’m a Nick ‘motherF23Kin’ Diaz fan from way back, way way back. The idea of 2 Diaz’s holding title belts in the UFC is almost too much for my tiny brain to comprehend. UFC 143 could be the beginning of the Diaz Brothers reign of terror in the LW and WW divisions, I’m salivating just thinking about the possibility.
Before I get ahead of myself, the whole card is looking solid. Rafael Natal has me excited so does Bruce Leeroy. Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen are ‘guaranteed’ to put on a FOTN worthy performance. Mike Pierce and Kos are gonna battle, hope KOS doesn’t ‘lay n’ pray’, Big Country is gonna go to war with Werdum and the Main Event will be exciting no matter the outcome. I’m getting knots in my stomach just thinking about it. I will be a very sad Editor in Chief if Diaz loses. Very sad. What I’m trying to say here is, you can’t go wrong with this card. I can count 5 fights that will be exciting and 4 more that have potential, then there’s the WTF factor which could be 2 more fights…count em, that’s 11 fights on a 12 fight card with more than just potential to be great. I can’t wait. The only fight card I’m looking forward to more is Diaz vs. GSP.
Below are my predictions, as always, they are in green. Enjoy.
Before you watch Mike Pierce vs. Kos, see what Mike had to say when we interviewed him recently.
Preliminary card (Facebook)
- Welterweight bout: Dan Stittgen vs. Stephen Thompson
I’m picking the American on this one. Dan Stittgen.
- Middleweight bout: Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper
Gotta go with the Brazilian. Rafael Natal.
Preliminary card (FX)
- Welterweight bout: Matthew Riddle vs. Henry Martinez
Going with Lord Voldemort here. Matthew Riddle.
- Welterweight bout: Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope
Once again, picking the American to win. Chris Cope.
- Bantamweight bout: Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
I have to go with the American on this one too. Alex Caceres, he’s got the Bruce Leeroy Glow!
- Featherweight bout: Dustin Poirier vs. Max Holloway
You know I’m picking the American again. Dustin Poirier.
- Middleweight bout: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
I hate to follow the traditional thinking I’m seeing on the net about Clifford Starks, specifically that he hasn’t faced the quality of opponents Herman has, but, I kinda have to agree. I generally like to root for the underdog. Unfortunately I can’t this time around. Herman has a better list of past opponents, he’s got more fights and is coming off a great win. Not to mention, he’s got a well rounded skill set. Starks is 8-0 with 7 of those fight in the regional division against tough, but not elite competition. I feel like Herman’s experience will be the deciding factor. Herman by sub.
- Bantamweight bout: Renan Barão vs. Scott Jorgensen
Renan Barao and Scott Jorgensen…holy sh!t. Barao is 27-1-1. Yeah, he lost his first fight and got DQ’d for an illegal soccer kick in a Vale Tudo comp. How did that happen? Never mind that, this kid has stayed busy and put on some good fights. Jorgensen is the original energizer bunny, that kid just goes and goes. Both fighters have good stand up, Jorgensen has great wrestling and G&P, while Barao has impressive jits and solid stand up. I’m saying this is the fight that could very well get the FOTN nod, and I say that knowing Nick ‘motherF23King’ Diaz is fighting on the same card. That’s saying something. Despite my great regard for Jorgensen, I gotta pick Barao on this one, I think Jorgensen will have some of the same problems he had with Cruz, which will put him off his game and open him up to Barao’s gameplan. I’m picking Barao by decision (a sub is also an option, but I don’t expect Jorgensen to give up till the bell rings).
- Welterweight bout: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Kos is saying all kinds of craziness. He doesn’t want GSP to come back (I kinda respect him for saying what many in the division must be thinking, namely ‘man I hope GSP doesn’t come back and kick my ass again’), he made that quip about having to look up Pierce. The list goes on and on. Kos knows how to stir up controversy, Pierce on the other hand is just taking it like normal, preparing and keeping his head in the right place. Kos might be looking past Pierce, but I don’t think Pierce is looking past Kos. This is a great opportunity for Pierce to step up and make a name for himself in the division, it’s also a fight which could put Kos at the bottom of the pile. Kos is coming off his big KO win over Matt Hughes (who, lets face it, isn’t the fighter he was a few years ago) and before that, the long layoff after GSP jabbed him into oblivion and almost blindness. Pierce is coming off a win to Paul Bradley following a loss to Johny Hendricks. The pressure is really on Pierce to step up, all Kos has to do is ‘lay n’ pray’. The idea that this is a #1 contenders match is kinda soft in my opinion. If Kos wins he gets to start the title hunt, if he loses…For Pierce, if he wins, he gets to enjoy a couple more fights with the WW elite before title talk starts, unless he put such an ass whooping on Kos he can’t be overlooked. The advantage goes to Kos due to his wrestling, but I’m going with the underdog and recent interviewee Mike Pierce by decision.
- Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Big Country is slowly becoming ‘Slightly larger than average Country’. Have you seen him? Look past the 25lbs of beard and hair and there’s not much of Big Country left. I know that’s an exaggeration, yet, the man is slim and trim compared to previous fights. A slimmer Big Country is a faster Big Country. We know he has good wrestling, an iron chin and great jits as well as real KO power. Werdum is a BJJ specialist, a true specialist. He gets the nod there, Mir recently stated that Werdum’s BJJ is better than his, and Mir recently submitted the unsubmittable Big Nog! Werdum’s stand up leaves something to be desired tho. Leading me to give the advantage to Nelson. I doubt Nelson will go to the ground, and I don’t think Werdum has the power to put Big Country out, and I suspect he will have a difficult time getting Nelson on the ground before Big Country lands some big shots. I’m gonna call it Roy ‘Slightly Larger than Average Country’ Nelson by T/KO.
- Interim Welterweight Championship bout: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
My hands are shaking in anticipation. Shaking! Nick Diaz is my #1 favorite fighter, he has been since, well…WEC 6 (I then immediately watched footage from some of his earlier fights) and have followed him since. His win over Takanori Gomi was an amazing, thrilling roller coaster of excitement. I’m also a huge Carlos Condit fan, I’ve been following him since WEC 25, he put on some great title defenses there. Both guys are ‘fighters’. They sow up to win, at any cost. It should be pretty obvious who I’m picking for the win, but, Carlos Condit has just as much of a chance to win as Diaz. Condit is no BJ Penn, his cardio is top notch, he’s just coming into his prime and he’s motivated like never before. His wrestling is very good, his stand up is also very good and his BJJ is solid. Diaz has outstanding stand up, some of the best in MMA. His BJJ is also phenomenal, and his takedown defense is solid. On paper they are pretty even, hell, they have the same mental fortitude even. Diaz has the stand up edge, Condit the wrestling/takedown edge, Diaz has the BJJ edge, but Condit’s wrestling kinda negate’s some of that edge, they both have incredible cardio…even I tell you. The deciding factor is gonna be who wants it the most. I’ve learned to never pick against a Diaz, and I’m not gonna make that mistake again (sorry Nate). Nick ‘motherF23King’ Diaz by decision. (I do hope for a T/KO in the 3rd or 4th)
Rumble young man Rumble