Friday, February 3, 2012

UFC 143: Someone is Getting Slapped

The day that the mixed martial arts world has been waiting for since the beginning of time is here, Nick Diaz fighting for the (interim) welterweight championship of the world.  UFC 144 was originally headlined by Diaz and George St. Pierre in what would be one of my dream matches but Carlos Condit is more than an adequate fill-in.

If it’s possible I highly recommend watching the Primetime special on Diaz and Condit.  It provides an in depth look at two fighters outside the Octagon.  This main event needs to deliver, especially after a disappointing UFC on Fox 2 card that caused Dana White to skip the press conference.
Prediction Time:

Prediction Record:
Last week: 2-1 Year: 7-5
Herman has been in the UFC since his days on The Ultimate Fighter 3.  He is someone that always narrowly avoids being cut, compiling a 6-5 record that includes two separate back to back losses. After sustaining a knee injury in 2009 against Aaron Simpson, Herman has looked like a different fighter with back to back first round stoppages.

I saw Starks make his UFC debut in person at UFC 137 and I came away less than impressed. In his defense, he took the fight two weeks after his previous fight and it was his UFC debut. Starks’ best chance in this fight is ground Herman with relentless take downs and grind out a decision.

I like Herman’s determination and experience here as he hands Starks his first loss.

Herman by Submission round 1. 

Barão has been on an absolute tear since his pro debut in 2005 and will be looking to extend his unbeaten streak to 29. He is a training partner of Jose Aldo, last seen partying here, and has skills on the ground and on his feet. I also like the reach advantage Barão will have in this fight but the concern for Barão is that he hasn’t fought on nearly as many big fights as Jorgensen.

If it wasn’t for the main event, this match-up would be my guess for Fight of The Night. Jorgensen has been on a roll, going 7-1 in his last 8 fights with his only loss to current champion Dominick Cruz. Jorgensen has heavy hands, look at his KO from guard against Ken Stone, and tremendous wrestling.  He has been on a mainstay as a top 5 bantamweight for quite some time and will be looking to prove he is not a gatekeeper for the division.

I see Jorgensen trying to get this fight to the ground and leaving an opening that Barão takes advantage of.

Barão Submission round 2

This fight at first glance seems like a huge mismatch. I think that is a huge disservice to Mike Pierce. His only losses are to top contenders Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks, two guys who he almost beat, nearly finishing Fitch and a close decision to Hendricks.

Koscheck bounced from his title to GSP with a first round KO against legend Matt Hughes. I think he has shaken off the effects from his eye injury and will be using this to get back to a title shot. My one concern was that Koscheck would take this fight too lightly but based on the fact that Pierce called him out I think Koascheck will be looking to prove a point.

Koscheck Unanimous Decision 30-27

Werdum hasn’t been in the octagon since a Junior dos Santos sent him to Strikeforce. He had success, going 3-1 including his 2010 upset of the year against Fedor Emalianenko. In his fight against Overeem, Werdum won some of the standup exchanges, but decided to pull guard every twenty second for some reason.

Roy Nelson is an interesting character in the MMA world.  He has a great ground game but his conditioning is definitely a question mark larger than his waistline. Nelson does have a chance to end this standing. Werdum was rocked by a right hand, something Nelson has a very good one of, against Fedor before pulling off the submission.

Ultimately this fight come downs to conditioning and I see Nelson wearing down after first.

Werdum Unanimous decision 29-28

Carlos Condit versus Nick Diaz

Whenever these two fighters step in the cage it is likely they are leaving the cage with a bonus. Now, you put them against each other, guaranteed fireworks.

Condit comes from one of the best camp's in MMA so you know he will be prepared for this one. He may not be  on Nick's level on the ground but he is a purple belt and has 13 submission wins so he's no slouch.  

His last three fights have been entertaining, featuring a come from behind victory against  "The next GSP" Rory MacDonald, and two highlight reel knockouts against Dan Hardy and Stun Gun. The last WEC champion definitely has earned this match up…

against the last Strikeforce champion Diaz. I try my best to stay neutral when writing these previews but I am not going to try to hide my Diaz fan-boyism My walls are full of 2-0-9 scribbles and may utter the phrase "Don't be scared, home" from time to time.

Diaz is a scrapper and goes to finish fights.  He fights by "Stockton rules" so you know he is not looking to win on points.  His boxing is tremendous, has an iron chin and is elite on the ground.  The problem with his fighting style is that he takes a lot of punishment in order to strike the way he likes. Diaz has to be concerned with Condit's finishing power.

This fight is going to be a barn burner and actually from an entertainment value I prefer this one to either one of them against GSP.

Diaz TKO 4th Round.
Hes coming for you George!
I would be an awful person if I did not wish a fond farewell to the gladiator man made famous by the UFC introductions. After many years of service the gladiator is now retired in favor of a brand new, highly expensive introduction. 
First the Internet people, now the Gladiator intro,
who's the next victim of Emperor Dana. 

If you liked this article please leave a comment below and vote on the poll to the right.  Also, as stated above, I started a weekly podcast called Split Decision on with my friend Ryan Penney. Please follow myself and the show on Twitter.  We will recap all the fights and news in the MMA world while also interviewing fighters, promoters and trainers

1 comment:

  1. Great analysis, even if I disagree on some of the outcomes ;)