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Armchair Matchmaker: UFC 143 Edition

(Apparently after this loss, Max Holloway decided to change his nickname from “Lil’ Evil” to “Blessed,” likely because taking Jens Pulver‘s nickname REALLY lets opponents know where your weakness lies.) 

Aside from bitterly dividing fans on what exactly constitutes a fight, UFC 143 left us with a lot of unanswered questions. Should Carlos Condit consider a nickname change?* Will Dustin Poirier get the next shot at Jose Aldo?** Is Nick Diaz really calling it quits?*** Though only time will truly calm our concerns, we’re going to make some bold predictions for Saturday’s winners and losers nonetheless, because that’s how we do things ’round here. Check out our matchmaking picks below, and let us know what you think in the comments section.

Nick Diaz: Perhaps the most impressive thing about Nick Diaz is that, despite his intellectual shortcomings, he maintains an ability to instill fear into whomever he fights. His cardio, striking attack, and Jiu Jitsu are second to none and just plain SCARY, but it is the man’s confidence, his willingness to relentlessly pursue and trade with anyone, that breaks even the strongest of competitors. Going into a fight with Diaz, you know you aren’t going to submit him, and you know it’s damn near impossible to knock the SOB out, so what the fuck are you supposed to do?

Where Nick’s problem lies, however, is in his ability to adapt, to set a game plan. Nick Diaz wants to fight like Nick Diaz, against Nick Diaz, and it’s why many of us love the guy. But when anyone who won’t adhere to this type of fight is looked at as a bitch (at least in his eyes), why not start matching Diaz up against those who just want to throw down? Screw the championship aspirations; let’s just assign Diaz to barnburner only match-ups against willing brawlers from this day forward. If he doesn’t want to accept the fact that many people with a title shot in mind are going to avoid his kind of fight at all costs, he best just move on, or abandon title hopes altogether. I say give him Diego Sanchez, regardless of whether or not he beats Jake Ellenberger. Their first meeting was a classic, and the second will be no different.

Fabricio Werdum: Aside from lighting up Roy Nelson’s face like it was the 4th of July, Werdum proved last weekend that he deserved to be ranked amongst the heavyweight division’s elite, so it’s time to give him a legit contender. Matter of fact, why not an ex-champion? Cain Velasquez is coming off a disappointing first round KO loss to Junior Dos Santos, the same man responsible for KO’ing Werdum right out of the UFC back in 2008 (yes, it has been THAT LONG already). Cain will be looking to show the world that he can take a punch, and Werdum’s most recent performance shows that he is more than willing to dish them out.

Roy Nelson: Shane Carwin. If he can survive that man’s punches, then we may just have to look into whether or not Nelson’s chin is on PEDs. Otherwise, give Nelson some time off and let him attempt a cut to 205, because he doesn’t really have anywhere to go in the heavyweight division in terms of contendership. He’s simply too small to be fighting guys like Werdum, and would get absolutely mangled by the Alistair Overeems of the division.

Mike Pierce: Most people were too busy arguing over the Diaz/Condit decision to notice that Mike Pierce got the worst screw job of them all on Saturday night. Despite thoroughly out-striking Josh Koscheck, Pierce found himself on the wrong end of yet another close decision as a result of a couple takedowns that Kos did absolutely nothing with. It’s pretty evident at this point that Pierce is much better than most of us have given him credit for, and should get a good name for his next fight. We like Rick Story, who is coming off a decision loss to Martin Kampmann at UFC 139, for Pierce’s next opponent. A win wouldn’t propel either party to the top of the contender list, but would be a solid victory regardless.

Josh Koscheck: I don’t know…Jon Fitch maybe? Koscheck’s win did fuck all for him in terms of moving up those pointless rankings lists, and his one-dimensional striking attack surely isn’t going to win him a title anytime soon. His recent split with AKA opens up the Fitch fight, and I, for one, would just like to see two guys from that camp quit playing BFFs and fight. What’s Mike Swick doing these days?

Renan Barao: After dominating a former contender in Jorgensen the way Barao did, it’s safe to say the kid is ready for the ultimate step up. If wins over Eddie Wineland and Takeya Mizugaki can get Urijah Faber a shot at Dominick Cruz, then Barao has easily earned one with his wins over Jorgensen, Brad Pickett, and Cole Escovedo, after those two settle their beef, of course. If he doesn’t want to wait that long, give him the winner of Torres/McDonald, granted he is able to walk away injury free.

Dustin Poirier: He was originally set to face Erik Koch at this event, and the fight makes more sense than ever now. Winner gets a title shot. Make it happen, Sean.

Ed Herman: Herman has looked better in his most recent octagon run than he ever did after placing second in the TUF 3 finals. His striking is ever-improving (though a little reliant on the 6), he can take a hell of a shot, and he packs a slick submission game to boot. Pairing him off against the winner of the Brian Stann/Alessio Sakara match would be a great litmus test for the comeback kid.


*No. Obvs.


***Who the fuck knows?

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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Richard Fitzentite- February 7, 2012 at 9:42 am
I want to see the "wonder boy" fight again. I swear I heard someone in the crowd yell "PUT HIM IN A BODY BAG!!!". Fuckin sweet.
ArmFarmer- February 7, 2012 at 9:34 am
Jesus.. I hate on cp more than anyone and even I'm sittin here like "whoa.. take it easy guys"
Wait, I just realized I have to decrypt hieroglyphics to post this.. fuck you cagepotato!
aaronb- February 7, 2012 at 7:56 am
Diaz vs. Martin Kampmann sounds like a nice technical stand-up war. Roy Nelson and Big Nog sounds like a reasonable matchup with both guys coming off a loss. Pierce versus Story has a good story behind it as former teammates who have had a VERY public falling out. Ed Herman vs Chris Leben seems like a matchup that should have happened in 2006. Lets see that one go down.
philoebeddoe- February 7, 2012 at 7:10 am
Man it got all wierd real fast up in herrrr...

Nick lost. He could have won this fight. Sucks. Wanted to see him Vs GSP. Maybe we will..maybe Condit gets hurt. Who knows.

Nick does need to figure a few game planning things out.. When he couldnt corner Condit he needed an alternative and he tried but really couldnt take him down. He needs to develop the ability to adapt and take someone down..his takedowns need work...- he cant ever seem to get anyone down to work his jits.

His kicks arent bad, his boxing is great and his Bjj is awesome..

fuck you hookpooding!
KeithHackneyWindmillPalmStrike- February 7, 2012 at 5:39 am
Did you just say 'obvs'.....fag
Dagnut- February 7, 2012 at 4:54 am
oh and Roy Nelson verus someone at strikeforce...for his own health and safety...geuninely fear for his safety
Dagnut- February 7, 2012 at 4:53 am
"Nick Diaz's Striking, JU Jitsu and Cardio are second too none"..................................................................................

This is probably the stupidest thing I have ever read on Cagepotato..and there have been even after he gets out-striked by Conduit, not even in the top 5, he is still world class...
what planet are you living on where you think a guy who throws loopy ineffective hooks and can barely kick that rates this as a top striker? Nick Diaz is second too none? In his own division he is not even top 5..not even close...and you claim he is second too none....laughable at best.... Diaz couldn't beat Conduit..he wouldn't beat Kapmann(who is a far superior striker)..he wouldn't beat Sanchez(just as good hits way harder)..he shouldn't even be mentioned in the same breath as GSP...even down the list Thiago Alves is a better striker.........he has only beta BJ penn FFS what is wrong with you people
Knurft- February 7, 2012 at 4:03 am
Nick Diaz vs Roy Nelson, for the best chin title.
SumDumGuy- February 7, 2012 at 12:10 am
doesn't Valaskooez have a date with Murr already? cinco the 5th of may?
Big Shafty- February 6, 2012 at 10:48 pm
Engelbert Humperdinck? Now that's just crossing the line...
MonkeyBoner- February 6, 2012 at 8:38 pm
Why everyone hating on Danga?
Anhonestmoose- February 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm
Yeah, where is Mike Swick? His last fight was two years ago, and I feel like he was top 15 at the time.
XxStifflerxX- February 6, 2012 at 7:57 pm
Id like to see Nick Diaz vs Koscheck! or Nick Diaz vs Pierce! or... idk.. anyone thats willing to stand and trade with him. Like what BJ Penn did, they bought on one heck of a fight!
ghostboner- February 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm
I was also thinking Diaz vs Thiago Alves.
Spitting into the wind- February 6, 2012 at 6:12 pm
Over reliant on the 6? Why don't you just say upper cut?
Instead you come across sounding like a serious fucking wanker Danga.
And whats with the name change anyways?
More faggotry emanating from your direction.
Where is Cagepotatos eminent Jewish overlord these days?
You not with the site anymore Goldstein?
XENOPHON- February 6, 2012 at 5:47 pm
@StinkFacer - geez, maybe your right, that's really kind of pathetic.
@abenormal - Jones.J is competitive, he just won't ever give up. Talk about uber aggressive, that kid. No much earlier in 2011. Before that lurked for years. As for DR_ANOK_ILLS, I'd like nothing more than to give that fuck the "Phineas Gage."
StinkFacer- February 6, 2012 at 5:37 pm
Roy Nelson vs Christian Morecraft.

That is all.
k-onda- February 6, 2012 at 5:22 pm
I was walking around today wondering if Buffer had it in him to get the crowd riled up while saying a dude's name ironically, like could he get it out right? Carlos The Natural Born...."Killer"...
abenormal- February 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm
Wait, what? Xeno and Danga used to be friends? I'm guessing they have been living single since December 2011...
XENOPHON- February 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm
J. Jones - Listen Humperdinck, I've been around quite a bit longer than 3 months. You play on the old man all you want, last time - just a few days ago you brought that up, and I went wild with pen to paper and then decided to delete the post, as I am a very sweet and sincere old man. ..........................................................................................................................................

Ghost writing, back when we were friends I did asked if you would be willing to sponsor me, but you never respond. After some thought, no one here wants to listen to the views of some old fuck. So I respectfully retract my request - and let you get some rest without saying one more bad thing. OK, Engelbert.
skeletor- February 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm
Fuck you Danga!

I would say GSP vs Diaz anyway, but Condit just proved if you run away and don't engage you can beat him. All we would hear for the next ten years every time he fights is how good GSP's leg kicks are. He'll spend the next 10 fights leg kicking and jabbing his way through title defenses.
J. Jones- February 6, 2012 at 4:25 pm
OK Xeno, you win. Based on the advice of a lonely old man who has been a member of this site for a good 3 months, I will call it a day. How are those articles you wanted me to ghost write coming?
TARDO Ortiz- February 6, 2012 at 4:22 pm
Roy Nelson is no where near Shane Carwin rankings wise. roy needs a tune up fight the UFC needs him he's a decent draw still and they don't have many of those in the HW division. Give him a rematch with Stephan Struve.
XENOPHON- February 6, 2012 at 4:01 pm
I quote so that you don't try and lie or back track your way out of a stupid position. Just like you tried again^ Diaz's earlier loss was at Elite XC in 2007. Nearly 5 years ago. Does Elite XC even count, and if so where were you 5 years ago Jonesy?
You need to go back and read what I said, one more time. I said "he lost one fight." I never said he "never lost a fight." How do you fuck up something so simple every fucking time? 11 pro fights with no losses is about triple the record Karma sports as just an amateur.
If your talking about game plans, and Nick Diaz clueless about what it takes to win, then you are a bonehead. Diaz lost by the slightest of margin, and you want to correct him on his fighting strategy.
Get the fuck out of here with your high school news paper journalism.
rophelius- February 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm
Plural's are's never's ever's formed's by's apostrophes'es'.

Jessu fucking christ --read a damn book.