UFC 143 takes place later tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on pay-per-view at 10pm ET/7pm PT. The pay-per-view broadcast will be preceded by prelim specials on Facebook at 7pm ET/4pm PT and FX at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
In the main event, Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit go to war for the interim UFC welterweight title.
In the co-main event, Fabricio Werdum returns to the UFC to take on Roy Nelson.
Josh Koscheck meets Mike Pierce in a welterweight match-up.
Renan Baroa faces Scott Jorgensen in a bantamweight bout.
Ed Herman takes on Clifford Starks in a middleweight bout.
Results and recap below.
- Carlos Condit def. Nick Diaz via Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
- Fabricio Werdum def. Roy Nelson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Josh Koscheck def. Mike Pierce via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Renan Barao def. Scott Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ed Herman def. Clifford Starks via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:43 in Round 2
- Dustin Poirier def. Max Holloway via Submission (Mounted Triangle/Armbar) at 3:23 in Round 1
- Edwin Figueroa def. Alex Caceres via Split Decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27)
- Matt Brown def. Chris Cope via Knockout (Punches) at 1:19 in Round 2
- Matt Riddle def. Henry Martinez via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Stephen Thompson def. Dan Stittgen via Knockout (Kick) at 4:13 in Round 1
- Rafael Natal def. Michael Kuiper via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Henry Martinez vs. Matt Riddle: UFC newcomer Henry Martinez nearly overcame a few days notice and a significant height and reach disadvantage to beat UFC veteran Matt Riddle. Martinez outstruck Riddle for nearly two rounds, however Riddle went into what Joe Rogan called “bezerker” mode late in the second and turned the tide. Riddle kept the momentum in his favor in the third giving the judges a tough decision. In the end, two of the judges thought Riddle’s comeback was deserving enough of the win and awarded him the split decision.
Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope: Matt Brown scored his first knockout in over two years against Chris Cope tonight. Brown tagged Cope quite a bit in the first round, but really turned it up in the second when he stunned Cope with a right hand to the ear. Sensing that Cope had lost his equilibrium, Brown then cracked him with a left hook to the temple. Cope went down and a few punches later the fight was over.
Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa: Quite a wild fight between Alex Caceres and Edwin Figueroa. It started off with Caceres landing a thundering low blow that literally sounded like a baseball hitting a bat. It took a while for Figueroa to recover but once he did he came and cracked Caceres with a right head kick that nearly put Caceres’ lights out. Despite Figueroa’s best attempts to finish it, Caceres managed to regain his wits and survive the round. Then it happened again. Halfway though the second, Caceres landed another nut shot that put Figueroa in time out for several more minutes. Ref Herb Dean responded by deducting not one, but two points from Caceres, all but guaranteeing that Caceres needed to finish the fight to win. He wasn’t able to but came pretty close as he nearly locked in several different submissions on about hundred attempts. Figueroa was able to escape them all though and picked up a split decision aided by the point deduction.
Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier: UFC newcomer Max Holloway proved to be no match for Dustin Poirier and his ground game. Poirier took Holloway down early and worked his way to an armbar attempt. Hollaway was nearly able to escape but Poirier transitioned it into a mounted triangle/armbar that could easily win Submission of the Night honors.
Stephen Thompson vs. Dan Stittgen: Stephen Thompson is someone to keep your eye one. Coming for the world of Karate, Thompson landed a nasty high kick to the neck that dropped Dan Stittgen like a sack of potatoes.
Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks: Ed Herman weathered an early storm in the first round against Clifford Starks to come back in the second and choke Starks out with a rear-naked choke for the submission victory.
Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen: Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen was one of those fights where both fighters threw a ton of punches, landed a bunch, but neither inflicted any of kind of fight-ending damage. The difference was Barao landed more and picked up the UD.
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce: Not the most exciting fight between Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce. It was close fight that was full of clinches and stalemates against the fence. Both fighters roughed up the other’s faces, but Koscheck’s two successful takedowns likely clinched it for him in the eyes of the two judges who awarded him the split decision.
Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson: Man, not many people can take a beating like Roy Nelson and keep on trucking. Fabricio Werdum, showing a ton of improvement in his striking under the tutelage of Rafael Cordiero, demolished Big Country’s face with punches, Muay Thai knees and even a front kick. The strikes left Nelson’s face bloodied and battered, but he kept on fighting and managed to crack Werdum several times and even knock him down with an overhand right. Not only that, Nelson nearly caught Werdum in a standing guillotine. It was a gutsy effort on Roy Nelson’s part but he just took too much damage to win the fight. Very impressive performance from Fabricio Werdum. He’s no longer just a threat on the ground.
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit: Carlos Condit had the perfect gameplan to defeat Nick Diaz and he executed it to perfection. It didn’t make for as an exciting fight as we expected, but it got the job done. Condit let Nick take the center of the Octagon and control the pace, but every time Diaz would try to corner him where he’s been so effective at peppering his opponents with punches, Condit would throw a couple strikes or eat a couple and circle out. The strategy never allowed Diaz to get going with his boxing and thus Diaz was never able to break him down like he’s done to so many fighters in the past. Diaz made it interesting in the final minute of the fight when he managed to take Condit’s back and drag him to the ground, but Condit was able to fend off a rear-naked choke and armbar attempt as the final horn blew. In the end, Condit earned the UD on points.
Despite it’s effectiveness, Nick Diaz clearly wasn’t a fan of the Carlos’ gameplan. He basically retired, saying “I don’t need this shit anymore.” He complained about Condit running away from him the whole time and said he doesn’t want to be a part of MMA if that’s how it’s going to be. We’ll see if it sticks.
Submission of the Night: Dustin Poirier
Knockout of the Night: Stephen Thompson
Fight of the Night: Fabricio Werdum & Roy Nelson