Tonight, the UFC is putting an interim welterweight belt on the line, to be decided by two gamebred sons-of-bitches who go out to take scalps, not win points. If Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit isn’t a thrilling fight, I’ll eat my hat. Plus: Roy Nelson welcomes Fabricio Werdum back to the Octagon, Josh Koscheck slugs it out with his evil twin Mike Pierce, and Scott Jorgenson does his best to snap the 27-fight win streak of Renan Barao.
Handling play-by-play for tonight’s action is interim liveblog champion Aaron Mandel. Follow us after the jump for live results from the UFC 143 pay-per-view card, beginning at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and please use the comments section to let us know how we can better serve you.
Okay Potato Nation, it’s almost time for the pay-per view portion of UFC 143. If you haven’t been watching along already, here’s the results from the prelims:
Steven Thompson def. Dan Stittgen via knockout (kick) – Round 1, 4:13
Rafael Natal def. Michael Kuiper via unanimous decision
Matt Riddle def. via Henry Martinez via split decision
Matt Brown def. Chris Cope via knockout (punches) – Round 2, 1:19
Edwin Figueroa def. Alex Caceres via split decision
Dustin Poirier def. Max Holloway via submission (mounted triangle-armbar) – Round 1, 3:23
Is anyone else excited for the new non-gladiator intro?
Well that intro was…interesting. On the plus side, I bet Heath Herring is stoked about the free publicity!
And here we go!
Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks
Huge opportunity here for Starks, getting a pay-per view shot in his second fight against the veteran Herman.
Round 1- Fighters exchange right away. Good hands being thrown. Starks pushes Herman against the cage, working for the takedown, Herman defending well. Starks seems content to lean into Herman and work some dirty boxing. Fighters break and move back to the center. Goldberg notes that Starks is “physically strong”, when will he say “athletic” or “dynamic”? More exchanges into the middle and then Starks puts Herman back into the cage. Starks is landing more than Herman. Both guys jockeying for position against the cage. Herman bleeding from what appears to be his left ear. Action has stalled. They separate and Starks is landing at will on Herman’s face. Herman seems uninterested in blocking or slipping punches. Herman gets a takedown and works from half guard. Starks reverses position and lands strikes from Herman’s full guard. Round ends with Starks on top.
Round 2- Starks was the clear winner of the first round. Second round starts with Starks landing more punches. Starks again puts Herman against the cage in the clinch. Herman takes Starks down and lands in side control, quickly transitions into mount and takes his back. Herman working for the rear naked choke, it is deep. Herman adjusts and sinks it in, Starks taps and it is allll over.
Ed Herman defeats Clifford Starks, submission (rear naked choke), round 2
Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
Kim Winslow refereeing this one, someone’s gonna die. Barao is riding an incredible 27-fight win streak and comes out looking pumped up.
Round 1- Barao opens with a kick to the head. Barao throwing kicks, including the spinning variety. Barao fights off a takedown from Jorgensen and goes back to work on the feet. Jorgensen looks tentative and Barao is throwing fluidly. Jorgensen shoots for a takedown but Barao defends again. Back to the center, both fighters throwing punches. Apparently Barao has good jiu jitsu also, that’s scary. Good straight punches from Barao mixed with solid leg kicks. They go into the clinch, Jorgensen with his back against the cage, Barao working some knees and kicks. Round ends, I give that one to Barao.
Round 2- Gotta love the lighter weights, both fighters come out fresh, moving around well. Jorgensen working hard for a takedown but Barao’s defense is excellent and it remains on the feet. Barao is working the leg kicks well. Jorgensen’s left leg is going to feel like my friend who is “drinking for science” next to me tonight. Both fighters in the center throwing punches, Barao is getting the better of the exchanges. Jorgensen takes a hard kick to the body and winces. Jorgensen shoots in for a takedown but ends up on his back. Barao in half guard delivering some punches to the body. Barao back in Jorgensen’s full guard now. Jorgensen works back to his feet. Spinning back kick to Jorgensen’s body. Jorgensen misses a jumping kick. Round ends, Barao in charge two rounds to none now.
Round 3- Touch of the gloves and the final round begins. Jorgensen comes out more aggressive, he must know he’s down on the cards. Barao fires back, but Jorgensen is tough as hell and stays in the pocket, swinging. Flying knee from Barao misses but Jorgensen’s mouth is wide open and I think he’s tarting to fade. Spinning head kick from Barao glances off Jorgensen’s hands. Jorgensen is having no luck with his takedown attempts which is bad news for a guy who relies on his grinding wrestling. Ninety seconds left and both guy throwing strikes. Leg kicks from Barao really adding up now. Joe Rogan has said almost nothing this ride, very eerie. Round ends with Barao firmly in charge.
Renan Barao defeats Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision
You’d think after five years as an avid MMA fan I’d understand Portugese by now, but I have no fucking clue what Barao is talking about, good win for him though!
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Watching Koscheck walk to the cage I can’t help think of the Koschek/Bob Ross thread from a few years ago. Pierce talked his way into this match and has everything to gain and almost nothing to lose.
Round 1- Pierce takes the center of the cage and shoots for a takedown early, Koscheck defends well but has his back against the cage. Pierce doing a good job making it ugly, holding Koscheck against the cage, landing some foot stomps, kicks and dirty boxing. Koscheck eats a few shots as they separate. Pierce gets put against the cage but they quickly separate. Both men throwing hard strikes and landing. Pierce is hanging in there at a level I did not expect. Pierce shoots in but Koscheck defends and the round ends with the fight remaining on the feet. Very close round, I’d give it to Pierce but I’m glad I’m not a judge!
Round 2- Pierce lands first with a right and shoots for a takedown. Koscheck defends and they clinch against the cage. Pierce lands as they separate. Koscheck looks tentative and a little stunned at how well Pierce is landing on him. Pierce bleeding from the head quite severely, makes me remember the old “head wound Harry” skits from SNL. Koscheck with a knee that misses. Pierce puts Koscheck back against the cage. Time is called as Koscheck pokes Pierce in the eye, punching with an open hand, measuring distance with his fingers out. Koscheck shoots for the first time and completes it with ease. Pierce gives up his back as he tries to use the cage to stand up. Pierce works back to his feet from a bad position and the round ends. Pierce is on the verge of a big upset.
Round 3- Pierce lands again but Koscheck answering back. Koscheck seems to be winking and wincing like in the GSP fight, I wonder if his eye is hurt again or it’s just become a tic of his now. Pierce gets a takedown but it is brief, Koscheck powers back up with ease. Koscheck has Pierce clinched against the cage. Koscheck is turning it up now but Pierce regains the clinch and is landing with dirty boxing and short strikes. Fighters break and face off in the center. Koscheck shoots for a takedown but Pierce defending well against the cage. Herb Dean is treating Koscheck like a misbehaving child, separates them and immediately warns Koscheck yet again for the fingers to Pierce’s face. It is extremely hard to like Koscheck. Both fighters striking, Koscheck shoots for a late takedown and holds Pierce to the canvas. Pierce ends with a spinning elbow as he works back to the feet. Very close fight, I have it for Pierce but this could either way.
Koscheck getting showered with boos from the crowd and responds with a middle finger and some stuttering excuses for what will undoubtedly be a controversial win that won’t advance him much in the welterweight division.
Rogan describes the upcoming Rousey-Tate matchup as “the hottest title fight” in history.
Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Nelson looks noticeably slimmer, sporting a massive graying beard and a braided mullet,control yourself, ladies.
Round 1- Werdum dwarfing Nelson in the staredown. Touch of gloves. Front kick from Werdum starts the action followed by a knee and a kick to the body. Nelson stalking, throws a right and slips to the ground. Werdum takes his back with astonishing speed and works to sink in a choke but Nelson fends it off and gets back to his feet. Werdum with the plum throwing knees at Nelson that are doing damage. Nelson breaks free and puts Werdum into the cage. Werdum regains the Thai clinch and unloads knees into Nelson who is starting to look and act like a drunken uncle outside the bar on a Tuesday night fighting a pack of angry skunks. Nelson is slowly bleeding his way down to light-heavyweight. Referee Josh Rosenthal stops to the action to have a doctor confirm what everyone can see on tv, that Nelson’s face is fucked up. Action restarts and Werdum goes back to work with kicks. Nelson drops Werdum and dives into guard ala Fedor and fights his way out of an armbar threat. Werdum gets back to his feet as the round ends and misses with a roundhouse.
Round 2- Werdum opens up with a leg kick and drops Nelson with a kick. Nelson back to his feet and throwing a kick of his own. I’m not sure if it’s possible to knock Nelson out, but Werdum is trying. Nelson is hanging in there throwing strikes but there’s not much on them. Roy Nelson is being described in my living room as an “un-dead viking” and a “zombie skeleton with a coonskin cap”. Action is slowing noticeably in the second round but Werdum is still winning the exchanges, when they happen. Body kick from Werdum but Nelson catches Werdum and flurries but Werdum survives, this is getting interesting. Nelson is sitting back waiting for a big shot as the round ends.
Round 3- Nelson has streaks of his own blood on his over-sized gut, I’m mesmerized. Werdum comes in and gets caught in a standing guillotine but survives and separates. Nelson puts Werdum into the cage as they tie up. Werdum landing knees and punches but Nelson must have a fast food bonus in his contract if he goes the distance because he is charging forward. Nelson tries a hilarious spinning back kick and Werdum catches and the round ends.
Fabricio Werdum defeats Roy Nelson by unanimous decision
Werdum managed to get into his interview with Rogan sans translator and ended up congratulating Nelson somehow.
Carlos Condit vs. Nick Diaz
It’s time for the main event, interim welterweight title on the line. A little touch of the foreheads on the staredown, no glove touch.
Round 1- Condit opens with a leg kick and then another. Condit working knees to the body, perhaps trying to drain the endless gas tank of Diaz. Diaz tees off with a few punches on Condit. Both fighters tentative. Condit just misses with a question mark kick. Condit really working the kicks. Spinning back first from Condit just misses and Diaz starts talking to Condit and looks to open up against the cage. Diaz works punches to the body against the cage, mixing them up with head strikes. Condit with a leg kick but Diaz is starting to pick up his patented flurries. Round ends with Diaz lowering his hands and throwing strikes. Very close round, I’d give it to Condit.
Round 2- Condit with more kicks to start the second round. Flying knee from Condit misses and Diaz catches it momentarily. Condit tries his fifth spinning back first of the night and finally lands but Diaz walks right through it. Diaz yelling in Condit’s face and open hand slaps him! Diaz is talking more in the octagon than he did on the entire primetime series. Diaz with a good combo on Condit. Condit seems tentative and Diaz is exploiting with combinations. Condit throwing big straight kicks but they are not landing. Condit lands a body shot. Diaz lands a flurry to the body. Back and forth striking action as the round ends. I’d give this round to Diaz.
Round 3- Third round and Condit again opens with a head kick that misses. Very even exchanges over and over, Diaz slightly getting the better of it. Diaz tagging Condit whenever he gets him against the cage. Very hard to live blog a fight like this! They are just striking over and over, nothing definitive landing, but Diaz’s strikes are adding up a little more. Condit missing a lot of kicks. Diaz not working at as fast a pace as we’re used to, perhaps he’s game planning for the five rounds. Condit is doing a good job circling off the cage when Diaz starts to come in with a flurry. Condit lands a knee and Diaz immediately starts talking shit. Diaz responds with a left hand but Condit is looking more active and more confident now. Round ends with Condit slipping on a kick. I think Condit took that round and is now up two rounds to one on my horribly unofficial card.
Round 4- Condit kicking away to start the championship rounds. Again lots of strikes being thrown, nothing significant yet. No ground fighting in the fight whatsoever, and no sign of it happening. Just as I type this Diaz shoots for a takedown but fails. Condit kicking and fighting smart. Condit gets Diaz on the feet with some hands and then kicks Diaz straight in the face, Diaz just stares him down. Diaz catches a kick but can’t complete the takedown. Condit is landing much more this round, Diaz seems slow and ineffective. Condit wins that round.
Round 5- I think this round needs to see Diaz end the fight to win. Condit looking much more confident. Diaz not moving very fast. I was just informed that Cecil Peoples is one of the judges tonight so none of what I’m writing or what you’re seeing matters at all. Diaz winging kicks at Condit without much success. Condit has thrown nearly ten spinning back fists at this point. Condit chops Diaz down with a leg kick and then goes up high. Diaz clinches him against the cage and attempts to take it to the ground but Condit separates with two minutes left. Diaz nails Condit with punches but Condit comes back with a knee. Diaz throwing combinations and starting to pick up the pace. Diaz drags Condit down and takes his back working furiously for a submission. Diaz trying desperately for a rear naked choke but Condit is defending well. The fight ends with Diaz trying for an armbar. I think Diaz got the fifth round but Condit will take it 48-47. Close fight.
Classy interview with Condit post-fight, it’ll be him against GSP toward the end of the year. Diaz apparently retires in the cage because he thought he won the fight and “don’t wanna play this game no more.”
That’s all folks, thanks for hanging out!