“UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit” took place Saturday inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit slugged it out for the interim welterweight crown in the show’s featured attraction. A heavyweight brawl between Roy Nelson and Fabricio Werdum served as the co-main event.
Here are the official results and play-by-play from tonight’s action:
(Facebook 7:10PM ET/4:10PM PT)
Stephen Thompson Defeated Dan Stittgen via KO (Head Kick) at 4:13 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Thompson using diverse stances and kicks to keep his opponent confused. Nothing to write home about thus far. I clearly spoke too soon, as Thomson puts Stittgen to sleep with a vicious roundhouse kick.
Rafael Natal Defeated Michael Kuiper via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
1stRound: Natal tripped him to the canvas for a brief moment. Kuiper now has him clinched against the fence. Natal plants him on the mat more securely this time. Kuiper fights free and ends up in top position. Natal attempts an armbar to no avail. The Brazilian had four or five takedowns in the frame. Natal, 10-9.
2ndRound: Kuiper is walking him down and throwing bombs. Natal answers with a one-two combo. And another big right hand to the grill. Kuiper can take a punch. Natal secures a takedown just before the horn blares. That may have won him the close round. Natal, 10-9.
3rdRound: Kuiper floors him with a right hook and goes in for the kill. Kuiper is laying the lumber, but Natal is doing a decent job of avoiding shots. Natal weathers the storm and picks Kuiper up and slams him to the ground. He advances to full-mount and tries an arm triangle, though there’s not enough time. Natal, 10-9 and wins the bout, 30-27.
(FX 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Matt Riddle Defeated Henry Martinez via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: Martinez tags him with a left hand. The last-minute replacement is consistently beating Riddle to the punch. Martinez connects on a three-punch combination. Riddle just misses with a knee to the dome. Martinez, 10-9.
2ndRound: Riddle has a cut above his left eye. He has a significant reach advantage, but is having trouble hitting his compact opponent. Riddle eats a right to the jaw. Riddle scores with kicks to the body. Riddle comes with a diversified flurry that may have won him the stanza. Riddle, 10-9.
3rdRound: Riddle is starting to win the standup battle, courtesy of his kicks. Martinez attempts a kick of his own and gets taken to the ground for his troubles. Riddle takes his back. He lets him go, but clocks Martinez with a head kick as they separate. Riddle plants him on the ground with a minute to go. Solid ground-and-pound by Riddle as the bell sounds. Riddle captures the round, 10-9, and rallies to win the contest, 29-28.
Matt Brown Defeated Chris Cope via TKO (Punches) at 1:19 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Cope has him pressed against the cage, Brown tags him with a knee to the face as the separate. Brown lands a brief takedown. Cope eats a one-two combo and smiles. Brown likely took a close round, 10-9.
2ndRound: Cope scores on a leg kick, but ends up eating several shots in return. Brown wobbles him with an overhand right. He floors him with a left hand and pounces. Cope is seeing stars. Game. Set. Match, Brown.
Edwin Figueroa Defeated Alex “Bruce Leeroy” Caceres via Split Decision (28-27, 27-28, 28-27)
1stRound: Caceres clocks him in the cup and time is called. That was a LOUD thud. Game on. Caceres unleashing a barrage of kicks. Figueroa drops him with a head kick and goes in for the kill, however most of his punches on the ground missed. Caceres appears to have recovered, as he takes his back. Figueroa did a solid job of avoiding several submissions. Tough round to call. Figueroa, 10-9.
2ndRound: Figueroa connects on a right hand. Caceres counters with a head kick. Figueroa takes another kick to the groin and time is called. Referee Herb Dean takes two points away from Caceres – that hurts. Game on, and it would appear Bruce Leeroy needs a finish to win. He’s coming with it as though he understands that. Caceres kicks him in the head and takes his back with a body triangle. Figueroa avoids an armbar. Figueroa, 9-8.
3rdRound: A sparring session for much of the first two minutes. Caceres jumps on his back. Figueroa fights to top position and is unloading some ground-and-pound. Caceres attempting countless submissions off his back. It will depend upon who the judges game the opening round. Caceres, 10-9, but I’ve got Figueroa winning, 28-27.
Dustin Poirier Defeated Max Holloway via Submission (Triangle Armbar) at 3:23 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Great back-and-forth action to start the bout, with each landing their fair share of shots. Poirier picks him up and slams him to the ground. He immediately advances to full-mount. Poirier attempts an armbar, Holloway scrambles and gets caught in an inverted triangle choke. Poirier goes back to an armbar and Holloway has no choice but to cry uncle.
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Ed Herman Defeated Clifford Starks via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:43 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Starks tags him with a right uppercut, Herman comes firing back. Starks is really finding a home for his right hand, and that’s Herman’s face. Herman scores on a couple of knees to the grill in the Thai clinch. Starks clobbers him with another big right. Herman secures a takedown. Starks reverses and unloads some bombs. Starks, 10-9.
2ndRound: The left side of Herman’s mug is jacked up, courtesy of Starks’ rights. Herman trips him to the canvas and immediately moves to full-mount. He takes his back and locks in a rear-naked choke with three minutes to go. It’s a wrap.
Renan Barao Defeated Scott Jorgensen via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: Barao is connecting on solid kicks. He attacks with a flying knee that knocks Jorgensen off balance. Barao stuffs a takedown attempt. Barao starting to damage Jorgensen’s lead leg with kicks. Barao, 10-9.
2ndRound: Jorgensen isn’t close to getting the takedown he’s been working so hard for. Mostly a sparring session to start the round, and Barao is winning. Jorgensen essentially pulls guard. They work their way back to their feet. Barao tags him with a spinning back-kick to the midsection. Barao, 10-9.
3rdRound: Jorgensen comes out with a greater sense of urgency. They exchange leather in the pocket. The Brazilian continues to beat him to the punch, but Barao’s face is the one that’s bloodied. The pace has slowed quite a bit. Barao, 10-9, and sweeps the cards, 30-27.
Josh Koscheck Defeated Mike Pierce via Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: Pierce immediately goes for a single-leg takedown attempt. He connects on two solid shots as they separated off the fence. They are slinging leather and it appears Pierce is landing the better punches. Close round to score. Pierce, 10-9.
2ndRound: Pierce scores with an uppercut and overhand right in the clinch. Kos appears pretty one-dimensional, simply looking for a home run right. Pierce is bleeding pretty heavily from his head above his hairline. It was caused by a headbutt. Kos gets a takedown for a second. Pierce, 10-9.
3rdRound: Pierce trips him to the mat, but Kos quickly wall walks to his feet. The crowd has been booing for much of this scrap. Pierce connects with some dirty boxing. Kos working hard for a single-leg. Pierce gets poked in the eye and time is called. Game on. Kos secures a takedown that might have won him the round. Pierce gets to his feet and tags him with a spinning elbow just before the horn sounds. Koscheck, 10-9, but I have Pierce winning a razor-thin verdict, 29-28.
Fabricio Werdum Defeated Roy Nelson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: Nelson slips on an overhand right and Werdum takes his back. Nelson works his way to his feet, but is taking several knees in the clinch. Werdum has eaten some uppercuts, also. Nelson is gushing blood from his forehead and time is called to check it out. Game on. Nelson catches a kick and tags him with a punch that floors Werdum. Nelson almost gets caught in an armbar. Werdum just misses on a wheel kick. Werdum, 10-9.
2ndRound: Werdum batters him with another knee, but Nelson forges ahead unfazed. Werdum scores on a head kick, Nelson counters with an overhand right. The pace has slowed quite a bit. Nelson clocks him with a big right that appeared to daze the Brazilian. And another. Fairly close round. Werdum, 10-9.
3rdRound: Werdum shoots and Nelson blocks it by attempting a standing guillotine choke. Werdum marches forward and scores with some knees and punches. Nelson takes a front-kick to the face. Werdum, 10-9 and runs the table, 30-27.
Carlos Condit Defeated Nick Diaz via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46) (Condit captures interim UFC welterweight title)
1stRound: Diaz connects on a one-two combination. Condit doing a good job of staying away from Diaz. He nails Diaz with a couple of leg kicks. Mr. 209 is already talking smack. Condit lands a few solid punches of his own. Diaz nails him with a body shot. Very close round to score. Condit, 10-9.
2ndRound: Condit has a minor cut below his right eye. He grazes Diaz with a spinning back-fist. Diaz is trying to goad him into fighting his game by spitting mad trash talk. They exchange vicious body shots. Diaz scores with a flurry to the body. Another close round to score. Diaz mad dogs him after the horn. Diaz, 10-9.
3rdRound: Condit connects on a punch-kick combination. Diaz tags him with a right. Good leg kicks by Condit. And another. Diaz has been on the hunt for much of the scrap, so that might play into the judges’ minds. Condit answers with a flurry. Diaz nails him with a left hand. Condit just misses with a flying knee. That was another tough frame to score. Condit, 10-9.
4thRound: This stanza is a mirror of the past rounds. Diaz drops for a single-leg takedown to no avail. Condit hits him with a combo as they separate. Condit continues to punish Diaz’s lead leg. Condit unleashes a dynamic punch-head kick combination, it was the most thrilling of the fight thus far. Diaz is bleeding below his right eye. Condit, 10-9.
5thRound: Regardless of how I have scored it, this championship affair is still up for grabs. Diaz unloading several head kicks in the opening minutes. Condit answers with another good flurry, capping it off with a head kick. Diaz had a body lock, but couldn’t get him down. Condit hits him with a knee. Diaz jumps on his back and drags him to the mat with a minute left. Diaz has a body triangle, though Condit doing a good job of avoiding submissions. Both raise their hands in victory. This will be controversial, it depends on how the judges scored the first two segments. Diaz, 10-9, but I have Condit taking the interim title belt home with a 48-47 decision.
Diaz doesn’t think he lost and is considering retiring because he doesn’t want to “put up with this [expletive] anymore.” He felt he walked him down the whole fight. Gave Condit props, but “he didn’t do anything but land baby leg kicks.”