Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz will fight Carlos Condit for the interim welterweight title at UFC 143. Here are my predictions for the entire UFC 143 fight card set for Feb. 4, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, NV.
Nick Diaz versus Carlos Condit
This should be an entertaining bout between two of the UFC welterweight division’s top strikers. Both men have iron chins, and fans should expect an out war. Diaz has the advantage on the ground, but he tends to lean more on his boxing nowadays. Striking wise, the playing field is a lot more even, but Condit does have more power and diversity in his strikes. Given the fact Diaz likes to stand and bang, I expect a majority of the fight to take place standing. I expect Condit to cause more damage during the striking exchanges, and hand Diaz his first loss in almost five years. Condit wins via TKO.
Fabricio Werdum versus Roy Nelson
Nelson’s physique looked significantly improved in his last bout against Mirko Filipovic, but he’ll be in for a serious test when he faces Werdum at UFC 143. Werdum’s striking is constantly improving, and he should be able to hold his own against Nelson. On the ground, Werdum is on a completely different level, and I expect him to dominate the fight on the ground. Werdum wins by decision.
Josh Koscheck versus Mike Pierce
Koscheck wasn’t particularly impressive in his UFC 135 fight against Matt Hughes, and he might run into some problems against Pierce. Pierce’s chin is pretty tough, and he should be able to handle Koscheck’s wrestling. This fight will be a lot closer than many think, and I expect Pierce to pull off the upset. Pierce wins by decision.
Scott Jorgensen versus Renan Pegado
Pegado will be in for the toughest test in his Ultimate Fighting Championship career when he faces Jorgensen at UFC 143. Pegado has a distinct advantage in the striking department, and his solid BJJ skills should keep him safe on the ground. Pegado wins by TKO.
Ed Herman defeats Clifford Starks
Starks’ undefeated MMA record will be in serious trouble when he faces Herman at UFC 143. Stark’s wrestling is his strongest weapon, but that will only play into Herman’s strength. Ed’s BJJ looked sharp in his “UFC Live 5” win over Kyle Noke, and I expect him to pull off another submission victory.
Dustin Poirier defeats Max Holloway
Alex Caceres defeats Edwin Figueroa
Matt Brown defeats Chris Cope
Henry Martinez defeats Matt Riddle
Rafael Natal defeats Michael Kuiper
Daniel Stittgen defeats Stephen Thompson