Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is all set to pull the trigger on its upcoming UFC 143 pay-per-view (PPV) extravaganza from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, TONIGHT (Sat., Feb. 4, 2012).
UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" will be headlined by former Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz battling ex-WEC 170-pound kingpin Carlos Condit for the right to wear the division's Interim strap with Georges St. Pierre on the sidelines recovering from knee surgery.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE blow-by-blow, round-by-round coverage of ALL the UFC 143 mixed martial arts (MMA) action below, beginning with the Facebook "Prelims" fights at 7:00 p.m. ET and running right on through to the PPV telecast that starts at 10 p.m. ET. This includes LIVE coverage of the FX "Prelims" special, which is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. ET on the basic cable channel.
Many of our readers check-in before, during and after the televised action to share their thoughts on all the exciting action. Therefore, feel free to leave a comment (or 143) before you leave and chat with all the other Maniacs during the show -- it always turns out to be a great discussion.
Keep in mind that we will also be the spot for the latest news, recaps and post-fight analysis after "Diaz vs. Condit."
Without further delay, see below for the latest UFC 143 results. (Note: This will go from the bottom up; therefore, scroll toward the bottom for the latest detailed round-by-round action.)
UFC 143 QUICK RESULTS:
Main card (pay-per-view):
265 lbs.: Fabricio Werdum defeats Roy Nelson via unanimous decision
170 lbs.: Josh Koscheck defeats Mike Pierce via split decision
135 lbs.: Renan Barao defeats Scott Jorgensen via unanimous decision
185 lbs.: Ed Herman defeats Clifford Starks via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:43 of round two
Preliminary card (FX Channel):
145 lbs.: Dustin Poirier defeats Max Holloway via submission (armbar) at 3:23 of round one
170 lbs.: Matt Riddle defeats Henry Martinez via split decision
135 lbs.: Edwin Figueroa defeats Alex Caceres via split decision
170 lbs.: Matt Brown defeats Chris Cope via KO (punches) at 1:19 of round two
Preliminary card (Facebook):
UFC 142 PLAY-BY-PLAY LIVE MAIN CARD COMMENTARY (PPV):
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit (170-pound limit)
Round one: Condit opens with a leg kick and then another. Diaz isn't checking them at all. Condit again with an inside leg kick as Diaz stalks him. Diaz throws a combination but Condit backs away and again blasts an outside leg kick and then another. Diaz backs Condit into the cage and they trade big strikes. Condit wisely circles away from danger. Diaz again corners Condit but eats a Brazilian kick from Condit. Diaz stalks Condit down and throws a 1-2 as Condit circles away once more. Condit is doing a great job of avoiding getting pinned. They trade kicks and Condit again throws a nice leg kick and then another. Diaz is still not checking them and Condit throws a spinning back fist. Diaz starts taunting Condit with his hands, he's talking smack and Condit throws another leg kick. Condit peppers Diaz with inside and outside leg kicks and whiffs with a spinning back elbow. Diaz lands a nice jab and a big combination with a big punch to the body but Condit responds with another leg kick. Condit throws a nice set of kicks and Diaz responds with a right hand at the horn. 10-9 Condit
Round two: Diaz starts taunting again and Condit throws a flying knee and a spinning back fist which both miss. Diaz explodes forward with a punching combination and Condit circles away, missing with a front kick but he connects with a spinning back fist. Condit lands a nice leg kick. Diaz is talking smack, he slaps Condit. He puts his hands at his side and taunts him again, eating several leg kicks. Condit continues to circle away and pepper Diaz with shots but Diaz responds by backing him up and throwing some nice straight punches. Condit refuses to get pinned against the fence and is using great footwork here. Condit throws a nice push kick to back Diaz off and Diaz goes to the body. Condit throws a nice body punch and Diaz taunts him again. Diaz backs up and throws a big volume of punches but Condit covers up and circles away. Condit has a great gameplan here, landing another leg kick. Diaz turns it up with several repeated straight right hands but Condit drops to the body. Condit throws a nice push kick at the end of the round and they exchange words. 10-9 Condit
Round three: Diaz pushes forwards throwing a pair of head kicks and he eats a big inside leg kick. Diaz lands a nice left hand but eats another body shot. Condit throws a push kick to the body and then another, landing a nice right hand. Diaz throws a big flurry of strikes but Condit weathers it and throws a big strike before circling away. Diaz throws a big right hand but Condit responds with a nice strike to the body. Diaz backs Condit away with a head kick but Condit fires back with another leg kick. Condit again connects with a leg kick and a body kick and Diaz is getting frustrated. Diaz throws a combination but Condit circles away. Condit's gameplan is brilliant here. He throws another leg kick and then jumps forward with a flying knee and then a big leg kick. Condit is gaining confidence and Diaz connects with a big left hand which snaps Condit's head back. Condit landsa flying knee and Diaz continues to hunt him down. They exchange and Diaz throws a combo while Condit fires back with a side kick to the body and a spinning back elbow. Condit throws a nice kick but slips at the end of the round. 10-9 Condit
Round four: Condit opens up with a nice leg kick and then another which he buries in Diaz's thigh. Diaz tries to corner him but Condit rushes to the center of the cage, avoiding getting trapped. Diaz is making Condit move backwards but he's not landing much. Condit throws a nice front kick to the face and Diaz initiates a clinch, dropping for a takedown. Condit fends it off and throws a nice combination on the break and then again throws a leg kick. Condit grazes Diaz with a spinning back elbow and then a leg kick and Diaz is getting frustrated. Condit throws a body kick, a leg kick and circles back to the center of the cage. Diaz lands a right hand but Condit throws an uppercut and a leg kick. Condit ladns a nice head kick and follows up with a leg kick. Diaz catches a leg but can't scores a takedown. They collide in the center of the cage and Condit throws a nice knee to the body. Diaz throws a body kick and Condit connects with a nice left jab. Condit lands a side kick to the body and Diaz again catches a push kick but can't do anything with it. Diaz throws a nice head kick and tries to press the action but Condit nullifies it by going to the center of the cage. They finish with a nice exchange at the horn. 10-9 Condit
Round five: Diaz presses forward throwing a pair of kicks but Condit is on his bicycle and lands a leg kick. Diaz is getting frustrated and both men tag each other with nice right hands as Condit continues to fight well while moving backwards. Diaz steps up the kicks, throwing three in succession but Condit practically ignores them. Condit throws a nice push kick to the body and just misses with a big head kick. Diaz is off his game now, clearly frustrated by Condit's gameplan. Diaz misses with a spinning kick and Condit lands a leg kick that staggers Diaz. Condit throws a combination and a head kick which stumble Diaz. Condit throws a nice knee as they close the distance and now Condit is getting the better of the punches. Condit drops with nice strikes to the body, changing levels nicely and Diaz throws to the head. Diaz takes Condit's back and drags him to the ground with just over a minute left. Diaz has both hooks in and transitions to a body triangle. Diaz is hunting fo ra rear naked choke and Condit keeps his chin tucked. We've got some late fight drama. Condit breaks free from the choke attempt and Diaz switches to an armbar but Condit escapes it, sweeping him at the end of the fight. 10-9 Diaz
Final result: Carlos Condit defeats Nick Diaz via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Round one: Nelson takes the center of the cage and Werdum throws a nice knee, following it up with a combination and a kick. Werdum sweeps out Nelson's leg with a kick and takes his back instantly. Nelson turtles and gets back to his feet but Werdum has him in the Muay Thai clinch, throwing a nice pair of knees. Nelson throws some uppercuts and Werdum has Nelson in the plum and throws some big knees. Nelson presses forward, turns Werdum around and takes inside position along the fence. Nelson landsa nice left hand and Werdum again attacks in the Thai plum with some big knees and Nelson is bloodied up. Nelson again takes inside position and throws some knees to the leg but he's bleeding heavily. The ref calls for the doctor to take a look at the cut, but it appears to just be on Nelson's nose. He checks out and they get back to action. Werdum goes right back to work with a knee as Nelson stalks him down. Werdum pushes foward with a combination and Nelson drops Werdum with a right hand. Nelson dives into Werdum's guard and Werdum attempts an armbar but Nelson wiggles free. Werdum gets back to his feet and lands a nice kick to the body followed by a knee. Werdum whiffs with a wheel kick at the end of the round. 10-9 Werdum
Round two: Big knee from Werdum stumbles Nelson to start out the round and Nelson responds with a nice leg kick. Werdum backs Nelson off with a head kick and throws a nice inside leg kick as Nelson whiffs with a big right hand. Werdum presses forward throwing a nice lead right hand and they exchange punches and kicks in the clinch. Werdum lands a big knee in the clinch. Werdum connects with a pair of leg kicks and Nelson continues to press forward but he's getting hit with nearly everything Werdum throws. Nelson continues to lumber forward and Werdum throws a punch to the body as he backs away. A nice leg kick from Werdum disrupts Nelson as he comes in for a big overhand right. Werdum connects with a big body kick and Nelson staggers him with a right hand. Nelson turns it on, hunting for the knockout but Werdum escapes from danger. Nelson catches a leg kick but he misses with a big right hand. Nelson throws a nice right hand at the end of the round. Nelson made that closer at the end, but I'm going 10-9 Werdum
Round three: Nice jab from Werdum and Nelson responds with one of his own. Werdum shoots fora takedown and Nelson locks in a standing guillotine but I doubt he can pull this off. Nelson gives up on it and Werdum presses forward with a nice combination. Nelson presses Werdum into the fence and gets put in the Thai plum as both men land significant strikes. Werdum presses forward and lands some nice punches and Nelson backs into the fence. Nelson recovers and lumbers forwards, eating a huge front kick to the face which turns him around. Nelson wades in with a big right hand but it gets blocked. Werdum goes for a head kick but misses and now Nelson's face is busted up again. They trade leg kicks with a minute remaining and Nelson just misses with a huge right hand. They exchange again but Nelson can't score the knockout blow he needs as they trade strikes until the final round. 10-9 Werdum
Final result: Fabricio Werdum defeats Roy Nelson via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce (170-pound limit)
Round one: Pierce is aggressive early,backing Koscheck into the fence and dropping for a takeodwn. They struggle against the cage with Pierce taking inside position and he's leaning heavily on Koscheck. They separate and Pierce lands a nice right hand on the exit. They clinch again and Koscheck is on the inside as both men trade knees to the body. They separate and Koscheck takes control of the cage center and Pierce landsa nice right hand as both men exchange. Both guys get tagged and Koscheck I think was worse off from that one. Pierce connects with a nice left jab and he's got Koscheck's respect. Koscheck presses forward, throwing a big overhand right but Pierce grabs a single leg and charges foward, pressing Koscheck into the fence. The horn sounds and that was a very close round. I'm going 10-9 Pierce
Round two: Pierce lands a right hand early and presses Koscheck into the fence but Koscheck reverses position. Pierce connects with an uppercut and a jab once they separate and he's got Koscheck flustered. Pierce is finding a home with that lead left hand. Apparently they collided heads which opens up a big cut along Pierce's hairline. He's bleeding pretty heavily but not into his eyes. They clinch again and Pierce drops for a takedown but gets stuffed. Koscheck is throwing left hand out to measure distance but he pokes Pierce and gets a warning from the referee. Koscheck finally shoots in and scores a takedown, holding him down along the fence. Koscheck passes to side control but Pierce pops to his feet. That one could go either way but I'm leaning 10-9 Pierce
Round three: They exchange and Pierce scores a takedown early but Koscheck pops back to his feet immediately. Koscheck presses Pierce into the fence and throws a knee to the body and a nice elbow on the exit. Pierce throws an uppercut but eats a pair of big right hands from Koscheck. Both men exchange in the clinch and Pierce throws a nice elbow and knee in the clinch. Koscheck throws an uppercut and a knee on the exit again. Koscheck shoots in for a takedown and Pierce hangs tough along the fence with a wide base. The ref implores them to work and Koscheck throws a nice knee to the body and they get reset. Koscheck again throws his left hand out and pokes Pierce in the eye. Koscheck gets a final warning and Pierce connects witha left jab. They stand in the pocket and exchange some big bombs and Koscheck shoots for a power double leg takedown with 30 seconds left. Koscheck holds Pierce down but Pierce gets to his feet. Pierce throws a nice spinning elbow at the end of the round. 10-9 Koscheck.
Final result: Josh Koscheck defeats Mike Pierce via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Round one: Barao lands a big body kick early and Jorgensen is pressing forward looking to land a big overhand right. Nice spinning back kick from Barao and he follows it up with a sick leg kick. Jorgensen responds with a leg kick and Barao nails him with a jab. Barao lands a spinning back kick and throws a flying knee as Jorgensen staggers back but Jorgensen changes levels for a takedown. Barao stuffs him and backs off, resetting his striking. Jorgensen lands a nice right hand over the top and shoots in but gets stuffed as they enter the clinch against the fence. They reset and trade straight shots in the pocket and Barao lands another big leg kick, backing Jorgensen off. Barao again with a leg kick and Jorgensen lands a nice right hand which briefly wobbles Barao, but he recovers instantly. Jorgensen shoots again but Barao takes inside position along the fence. Barao resets and throws a spinning wheel kick which grazes Jorgensen and lands a nice head kick and straight left hand before the round ends. 10-9 Barao
Round two: Head kick and front kick attacks open from Barao and Jorgensen shoots for a takedown but gets denied. Baral again connects with a leg kick and keeps the pressure on with straight punches in the pocket. Barao lands a nice combination which backs Jorgensen off and then another. He's finding a home for a big right hand and finishes it off with a spinning back kick. Barao lands a leg kick and Jorgensen shoots but he pulls guard after failing to score the takedown. Barao takes half guard on top and Jorgensen retains full guard. Barao isn't doing much here from above other than land some short strikes to the body. Jorgensen explodes to his feet and breaks free. Jorgensen looks energized now, landing better strikes but Barao backs him off with a spinning back kick. Jorgensen throws a jumping round kick of his own but it gets blocked and Barao goes back to the legs with a heavy kick. Barao connects with a front kick and they trade short strikes until the horn. 10-9 Barao
Round three: Jorgensen presses the action early, landing a nice right hand out of the gate which gets his corner excited but Barao responds with a big spinning back kick which makes him back off again. Barao is clearly getting the better of every exchange as a majority of Jorgensen's punches are simply coming up short. Barao backs Jorgensen up with some nice right hands and Jorgensen is clearly frustrated. Barao stuffs a takedown attempt and fires back with some heavy leg kicks. They continue to exchange and Barao is getting the better of everything. Barao connects with a pair of heavy leg kicks which stagger Jorgensen and they continue to fight from the pocket for the majority of the round until the horn sounds. Jorgensen looks dejected heading back to his team. 10-9 Barao
Final result: Renan Barao defeats Scott Jorgensen via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Round one: Herman takes the center and Starks lands a nice right hand which stumbles Herman but Herman recovers and starts pressing the action aggressively with big bombs. Starks presses Herman into the fence, controlling him physically but Herman works his way free and backs him off with a big left hand. Starks lands another nice straight right and a stiff left jab. He goes over the top with another right hand which catches Herman once more. Herman fires back and they return to the clinch. This is turning into a brawl and it could just be a matter of the toughest man winning. Herman lands a big uppercut and some knees in the clinch. Herman is bleeding a bit from the ear and Herman lands some more knees. Starks blasts Herman with another big right hand and Herman shoots for a takedown but gets stuffed. Herman shoots another takedown and gets it, passing to half guard. Starks' guard is wide open and he sweeps Herman, taking top position in Herman's closed guard. Starks drops a nice elbow from top position and finishes the last 20 seconds on top. 10-9 Starks
Round two: Herman presses forward and he's already got some swelling from eating those right hands in the first. Herman slips on a kick but pops back to his feet. Starks presses Herman into the fence and grinds on him there but Herman tosses him to the canvas beautifully. Herman is in side control and passes to mount, now he takes Starks' back and he's got a rear naked choke and Herman forces the tap. Very nice finish by Ed Herman!
Final result: Ed Herman defeats Clifford Starks via submission (rear naked choke) at 1:43 of round two
UFC 14 3FX "PRELIMS" COMMENTARY:
Max Holloway vs. Dustin Poirier (145-pound limit)
Round one: Holloway comes out with a front kick to the body. Poirier with a good leg kick in response. Holloway with a kick, transitioning to a superman punch. Holloway with the flying knee. Poirier with a good elbow. Thunderous body kick by Holloway. Holloway getting the better of the stand up thus far. Holloway with another flying knee that only partially lands. Poirier working for the takedown now and he finally gets it. He is immediately in full mount. Holloway trying to wiggle out of it but Poirier has heavy hips. Two and a half minutes to go. Holloway trying to scoot back towards the cage to use it to escape. Holloway starts to roll and almost gives up his back. Holloway uses the cage to try and escape out the back door but gives up his arm. Poirier almost gets the armbar, but Holloway defends. He transitions to a triangle from the top, and now he's going for the armbar again. He's got it! That's it! It's all over!
Final result: Dustin Poirier via submission (armbar) at 3:23 of round one
Matt Riddle vs. Henry Martinez (170-pound limit)
Round one: Riddle throws a jab and Martinez answers with a big overhand right. Riddle throws an inside leg kick and eats a couple hard punches in the head. Martinez comes forward again and lands several good punches in a flurry aimed at Riddle's head. Riddle looks a little hesitant now and after eating a few punches that stunned him. Riddle throws a body kick and gets countered again with several hard strikes. Martinez is timing him perfectly. Martinez with the outside leg kick. Riddle throws a front push kick to create space. Riddle with the jab. Martinez lands a right hook to the side of the head. Martinez throws and lands a three punch combo to the head. Two and a half to go. Riddle looks to be cut under the left eye now. Riddle lands an inside leg kick. Martinez rushes in again with several big punches. Riddle with the good outside leg kick. Riddle comes forward quickly but retreats after getting nailed with a big right hand. One minute left. Riddle throws the body kick and is countered once more. He's having a lot of trouble landing anything substantial without getting countered painfully. Martinez really has his number so far. Riddle looks to also be cut on his forehead now as well. They tie up and Riddle throws a big knee to the head that is mostly blocked but was very close to causing a lot of harm. 10-9 round for Martinez.
Round two: Riddle aggressive from the onset and throws a right cross that lands. Martinez feints with a right hand then lands a couple punches that follow right after. Riddle with the good outside leg kick. A minute into this round and it's a mirror image of the first. Every time Riddle pushes forward, he is getting tagged with a combo. Martinez is sitting in the pocket and picking him off at every opportunity. Martinez lands several more punches to the head and things are not going well at all for the former TUF veteran Matthew Riddle. He may need to take this to the ground soon if he has any chance. Martinez lands a big right hand, square on the jaw of Riddle. Two minutes to go. Riddle throws a big head kick attempt misses completely. Martinez is now bleeding from the nose a bit, as he must have a taken a shot during the last scramble. Martinez comes forward again and lands several punches. Riddle with a good inside leg kick. Now Riddle lands a body kick. He's starting to become more active with the kicks, perhaps realizing that the arm strikes just aren't getting it done. Riddle throws a high front kick but gets clipped. It doesn't seem to faze him as he keeps coming forward, throwing a bevy of kicks and landing several. Good finish to the round by Riddle, but Martinez probably did enough earlier to garner a 10-9 score for the second frame.
Round three: Riddle lands a good kick to the side but is countered with several punches. Riddle looks fired up now. Martinez with the outside leg kick. Riddle lands another good kick to the ribs and Martinez's side is looking very red. Riddle with an inside leg kick but he eats another couple of very hard punches to the sides of his head. Riddle is throwing a ton of kicks and doing a better job now of keeping him at bay. He'll likely need to finish him in this round if he wants a win. Riddle comes forward and ties him up and gets nailed with a right hand on the break. Good couple of leg kicks by Riddle. Riddle grabs a single leg and gets the takedown. Martinez making use of the rubber guard to defend. Riddle gets his back. He's trying to get the hooks in and flatten him out but he's very high on his back. Riddle using elbows to the side of the head to soften him up. Riddle finally gives up to avoid falling off the front. Riddle lands a head kick that is partially blocked as they stand back up. Minute and a half to go. Riddle charges in and gets another takedown. He's working inside his full guard. Riddle drags him over to the fence and is trying to get to side control. Riddle landing some good elbows from this position. Riddle is landing a lot of punches now, trying his bets to keep this fight out of the hands of the judges. Martinez is getting beat up pretty badly but he may survive. Strong finish by Riddle, but it may not be enough. 10-9 Riddle.
Final result: Matt Riddle via split decision
Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa (135-pound limit)
Round one: Caceres with the front kick to the body. Caceres with the side kick, then a left hand to the head. Caceres is very busy and landing with frequency. Oh boy. Caceres just landed a very hard low kick that has Figueroa on the ground, writhing in pain. When the kick landed, it sounded like a clean-up hitter nailing a 100 m.p.h. fastball. Very sick. But he says he wants to continue. Crazy. Herb Dean goes over to give Caceres a "strong warning." Caceres apologizes to Dean and Figueroa. Back to action. Figueroa rushes in and gets hit with a right hand to the head. Caceres lands a hard slapping kick to the body. Figueroa throws a right that misses and is countered by a straight right hand that sends him backwards. Three minutes left. Figueora lands a right head kick out of nowhere! This could be huge! Caceres is on his back. Figueroa puzzlingly lets him recover by not really doing all he can to drop down and finish. Caceres gets back up and ties him up against the fence. Two minutes left. Caceres gets the takedown. He has his back. He's working to get hooks in and Figueroa slips out the back door. Back on their feet. Caceres trying to take his back from the standing position. He's got it. He gets him down to the ground and is working for a neck crank. Figueroa escapes the submission but he's still in a bad spot. One minute left and Caceres has him in the body lock. He transitions to full mount but he's out. Back on the feet and Caceres takes his back again. Caceres is doing all he can to finish him but Figueroa looks like he's going to make it out of this round, somehow. Very tough to score. Both fighters almost finished the other. 10-9 Caceres.
Round two: Caceres starts off with the side kick to the body. He throws another side kick, this time to the head. They're exchanging wildly now, with Caceres getting the better of each back and forth. Good combination by Caceres who finishes with a head kick. Caceres is oing a great job of technically picking his shots and avoiding the big attempts by his opponent. Caceres with a good front kick to the body. Figueroa chases him down but Caceres is being evasive. And...there it is. Caceres nails him with another thunderous kick to the groin. He should probably lose a point this time and he'll be fortunate to not be DQ'ed. Figueroa says he's able to continue and in a huge turn of events, Herb Dean takes two points away from Alex Caceres. Caceres now looks like a man who feels like he needs a finish. Caceres with a big knee to the head. Caceres ties him up and grabs his neck, pulling him down to the ground. He's got his back and is working for a choke. Lots of time left here with 2:08 to go in the round. Figueroa is in trouble. Caceres gets the body lock. He's punishing him with punches to try and get him to succumb to the choke. Caceres is having a hard time getting under his chin. Figueroa rolls over and Caceres is trying for an armbar now. He transitions to the triangle. Not a ton of time left. He sinks it in. Thirty seconds left. Figueroa slips out. I score the round 8-8.
Round three: Figueroa with the leg kick and Caceres slips a bit. Figueroa tries to jump on him but Caceres recovers and lands a straight right hand to the head. Figueroa throws a leg kick that misses badly. Caceres with a big spinning back kick to the side. Caceres fakes another spinning back kick and resolves to a side kick to the body. Figueroa throws a good inside leg kick but eats a left hand to the head in the process. Caceres blitzes him and takes his back, standing. He jumps to a standing back mount. He's got both hooks in and is working for a finish. Figueroa, trying to be patient and not make a fight ending mistake. Two minutes to go. Caceres still having trouble getting under his chin. Figueroa drops down to the mat but Caceres is still on him. He's got his back on the mat now, still trying voraciously to get the choke. Just over a minute to go. Figueroa reverses but finds him in a spot where Caceres could potentially secure the triangle. Figueroa rears back and lands a few punches. Figueroa drops down for a kneebar, but Caceres shakes it off instantly. Caceres has his back again and the clock expires in a position in which most of the fight was spent. 10-9 Caceres.
Final result: Edwin Figueroa via split decision
Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope (170-pound limit)
Round one: They meet in the middle and start throwing hands right away, mainly jabs. Brown throws a kick and gets countered by Cope with a good right hand. Cope with a right cross. Brown lands a good combo of punches. Cope rushes in, Brown ducks under, gets underhooks and carries him to the cage. Cope reverses and is working the knees. Cope lands a good short right hand to the head. Brown reverses and lands a good knee to the head. Three minutes left in a very even first round so far. Matt Brown rushes in with a solid double leg takedown, but Cope is able to get back to his feet, almost immediately. Brown tangles him up against the cage and lands a couple good knees. Cope reverses. Two minutes left. Cope using dirty boxing in the corner. Brown drops down and tries to grab a leg. He's working hard for a takedown and finally gets it, but Cope is right back up. Cope eats a knee on his way back up. Good elbow by Brown. Cope lands a lazy left hook that doesn't do a lot of damage. Cope with a good inside leg kick. Cope with a good stiff jab. Brown with a nice leg kick. Cope answers with one of his own. Brown throws a kick and finishes off the combo with two consecutive right hands to the head. 10-9 Brown.
Round two: Brown rushes in and lands a good one two punch combo, then a good body kick. Brown much more active early on. Brown with a good jab that pops Cope's head back. Cope throws the leg kick but it gets caught, as Brown counters with a right hand to the head. Brown hits him with a big left hook. He's down. It's over! Brown is all over him and referee Kim Winslow has to step in and stop it! TKO victory for Matt Brown!
Final result: Matt Brown via KO (punches) at 1:19 of round two
UFC 143 FACEBOOK "PRELIMS" COMMENTARY:
Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper (185-pound limit)
Round one: Natal paws with the jab and is forced back by an inside leg kick. Natal rushes in and takes him down. He has full mount for a second but Kuiper escapes out the back and is on his feet again. They're clinched up against the fence now as the Mazzagatti warns for action. Back to center. Inside leg kick by Natal. Now an outside leg kick by Natal who is really working the legs. Natal drives and completes a double leg takedown and has Kuiper on his back. Natal working inside his full guard. Kuiper very active from the bottom, trying to attack. Natal looks to control his hips and brings him back to the fence, but Kuiper sees an opening and gets back up. Natal ducks under, gets underhooks and takes him right back down again. He's in half guard now, looking to get free and transition to side control. Kuiper keeps working and gets up, once more. Natal ties him up as they stand and lands a knee to the midsection. Kuiper throws an overhand right and leaves himself susceptible for yet another takedown, Natal's fifth of the round. One minute left. Natal working for either an arm triangle or possibly an armbar, but Kuiper defending well. Kuiper reverses but leaves his arm out there and almost gets himself in trouble. Natal lets go of the arm and now Kuiper is on top. Natal gets hold of the arm again. He's close and...he can't pull it off. Kuiper slips away as they both get back to their feet and the horn sounds. 10-9 Natal.
Round two: Lots of strikes are exchanged by both fighters right out the gate. Natal looking very aggressive and is throwing a ton of punches. Kuiper throws and lands a good three punch combo as Natal ties him up and tries to take him down but is unable to do so. Natal tries once more but his shots are slowing dramatically. Each time he tries for the takedown, he eats several punches. Natal answers though with a good flurry of punches of his own. Natal ties him up against the fence and works for the takedown again. Natal using knees to the quads to soften him up. On the break, Natal lands a good left hand to the head. Natal very much the aggressor in this round and in this fight. Natal throws a right outside leg kick that doesn't do much damage. Natal throws a spinning backfist that looks very halfhearted. Natal rushes in for a takedown and eats an uppercut, but scores a right hand to the head as he backs away. Just over a minute to go. Natal is starting to land with higher volume now, seeming to have given up on the takedown and resigned to the fact that he will need to strike. Natal gets stuffed again as he tries for a single leg. But he finally gets it. He's on top now in half guard and f he can get his right leg free, he'll be in full mount. Not enough time. Horn sounds. 10-9 Natal.
Round three: Kuiper lands a right to the head immediately that drops Natal. He pounces on him. Natal has one leg trapped but if Kuiper gets it free it'll be curtains. Kuiper is raining ground and pound and this could be over soon! Tons of time left and Natal is in a super bad spot. Kuiper is landing a lot of punches as Natal buries his head and tries to survive. Kuiper postures up and rocks him from the top with a right hand. Now Natal is in full guard, a massively better position than before. Natal is controlling the head and trying to do all he can to escape. Kuiper using short punches to the ribs to try and punish him. And Natal is back up. Big ups to Natal for making it through that part of the round. Natal has double underhooks and he slams him down hard on the mat. Natal has side control and is using elbows to the head now. He's working to get him the crucifix. Just under two minutes left. Natal tosses his left leg over and now he has full mount. One minute left. Natal is working for the arm triangle. He's close! This is bad for Kuiper! Twenty seconds left! Can he survive? Yes! The round is over and Kuiper just barely avoids being submitted, but should lose the decision. 10-9 Natal.
Final result: Rafael Natal by unanimous decision
Dan Stittgen vs. Stephen Thompson (170-pound limit)
Round one: Thompson starts things off with a big outside leg kick. Stittgen answers with one of his own. Thompson very noticeably keeping his hands low. Thompson's karate stance looks problematic for Stittgen early on. Thompson lands another good leg kick. Thompson darts in with a few punches and lands with a right to the head, partially blocked. Stittgen lands an inside leg kick. Thompson with the outside legkick. Three minutes left in the first round. No big shots to speak of yet, as both fighters are still figuring each other out. Thompson is getting the better of the kick exchanges thus far. Thompson continues to plant his kicks directly on the knee brace of Stittgen's front leg. Stittgen throws a big straight jab that Thompson avoids with a quick retreat. Good leg kick by Stittgen. One minute to go. Thompson with a good spinning back kick to the body. He follows with a one-two punch combo and then a BIG head kick that lands square on the temple! He's out!! What a KO! Stephen Thompson wins his UFC debut with a head kick knockout! Fantastic.
Final result: Stephen Thompson via KO (head kick) at 4:13 of round one