Good morning Maniacs!
Here is my final article previewing this weekends UFC 143!
Enjoy and good luck with your picks, this card should be awesome! Leave a comment, tell me where my thinking process is bogus!
Co Main Event:
Heavyweight bout: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Background: Nelson is 16-6 and Werdum is 14-5-1
Current Betting Odds: -135 Werdum, +115 Nelson
Roy Nelson - 35 years old - 6'0" - Reach: 73" (Ranked 13th Heavyweight)
Nelson was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and made his pro debut in 2004 at Rage on the River. Nelson is well known because of his time and subsequent winning of TUF 10 in 2009. He is popular amongst many fans because of his style, both fighting and appearance: mullet, beard, big belly. He's a good finisher, with 14 of his 16 pro wins coming by stoppage (88%), 9 KO/TKO‘s, 5 submissions. He has losses to Ben Rothwell, Andre Arlovski, Jeff Monson, Junior dos Santos, and Frank Mir. He does however hold victories over Brendan Schuab, Stefan Struve, and most recently, Mirko CroCop.
He has only been finished once, and that was under somewhat dubious circumstances: during his fight with Arlovski the ref stood the fighters up while Nelson was controlling Arlovski from side control, working for a submission. Nelson was then knocked out by the former UFC champ in the following round. Nelson is a black belt in BJJ, a two time KO of the Night winner, and is the former IFL Heavyweight Champion. He is 3-2 in his last 5 fights.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OhcjsvdsAM (vs. Arlovski)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tqtPhWJXk8 (vs. Imes)
Fabricio Werdum - 34 years old - 6'4" - Reach: 78" (Ranked 5th Heavyweight)
Werdum was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil and made his pro debut in 2002. Werdum is among the elite heavyweight BJJ fighters in the world. 86% of his victories are stoppages, including 8 submissions. He is a multi time world champion in BJJ at the World Championships, ADCC Finals, and Pan American games.
His crowning achievement in MMA is his victory over Fedor Emelianenko by triangle in StrikeForce in June of 2010. He's fought some of the best in the world with mixed results. He has losses to Sergei Kharitonov, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Andre Arlovski, Junior dos Santos, and Alistair Overeem. He holds victories over the aforementioned Fedor, also Alistair Overeem, Antonio Silva, Gabriel Gonzaga(2x), Tom Erikson, Brandon Vera, and Jon Olev-Eniemo. Not every single one of those fighters is considered amongst the best in the world, but they are all dangerous, and some were or are now considered amongst the best. He is a 2nd degree black belt in BJJ, a black belt in Judo, and a black belt in Muay Thai. He is 3-2 in his last 5 fights as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBK7LT5A9wo (vs. Fedor)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgOuIgA2gVk (vs. Zentsov)
My Pick: This is actually kind of a tough call for me. I was leaning towards Nelson for a long time. Nelson hits hard, and believe it or not so does Werdum. Werdum was very gun shy against Alistair Overeem, which made that fight quite the stinker, but I doubt Werdum will fall into that trap again. With Werdums longer reach and surprisingly "OK" kicks he might actually be a difficult match up for the shorter limbed Big Country. I know I'll catch hell for this, but Nelson has been rocked several times in his last few fights, a one armed CroCop did it, dos Santos did it(no surprise there), and Frank Mir dominated him while grappling(was ill with the Flu). That being said, he is really difficult to put away, so despite Werdum claiming he will "knockout the fatty" (I'll admit I'm paraphrasing there), I don't see Werdum stopping Nelson with strikes because Werdum is not JDS, or even a striker the level of Arlovski. All of that being said, save Kharitonov(Split decision loss), are former or current UFC/StrikeForce heavyweight champions. He is a top 10 fighter, make no mistake about that. With all of Nelson's experience and great fights, he honestly doesn't stack up on paper as well as I expected him to. Neither man has been submitted, and they've both been KO'd once; by very hard strikers. This fight is going to decision. And because I feel I have to make a pick, I'm going with Roy Nelson to win in a closely contested fight.
Nick Diaz - 28 years old - 6'1" - Reach: 76" (Ranked 2nd Welterweight)
Diaz was born in Stockton, California and made his pro debut in 2001. Diaz is among the most well known and polarizing fighters in the game today. A stunning fighter with an endless gas tank, fantastic MMA style boxing and great BJJ, he is a well rounded fighter with a fantastic resume. When he fights people take notice. He is a very good finisher, with 21 of his 26 wins coming by stoppage (81%), with 13 KO/TKO's and 8 submissions.
Diaz has fought some of the biggest names in the sport, with wins over Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn, Paul Daley, KJ Noons, Robbie Lawler, Josh Neer, Chris Lytle and submitted Takanori Gomi(fight was overturned to a NO CONTEST when Diaz tested positive for marijuana). He does however have losses to Diego Sanchez, KJ Noons, Sean Sherk, Joe Riggs, and Karo Parisyan.
He is on a 11 fight win streak, most recently drumming BJ Penn into a Unanimous decision win at UFC 137. His last legitimate loss was by decision to Sean Sherk in 2006. His loss to KJ Noons coming by TKO due to cut, and it's difficult to hold losses like that against a fighters record.
The issue with his long win streak is he hasn't fought the best competition consistently, but that level of dominance is hard to ignore or deny. That being said, people who hate Diaz will discredit his accomplishments over the past 6 years, so there's no point in trying to convince them. Diaz is a former WEC Welterweight champion and former StrikeForce Welterweight champion. He vacated both titles to enter the UFC for two different stints in the promotion. He is also a recipient of one Fight of the Night award (with BJ Penn).
He has fought in the aforementioned WEC, the UFC, EliteXC, PRIDE, DREAM and various regional promotions. As stated, he is a black belt in BJJ under Caesar Gracie, has fantastic MMA boxing (1-0 Pro boxing), and is notoriously difficult to finish.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brbkMyDrAxw (vs. Cyborg)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlxwnY0lRw0 (vs. Daley)
Carlos Condit - 27 years old - 6'2" - Reach: 76" (Ranked 4th Welterweight)
Condit was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and made his pro debut in 2002. He is the definition of a finisher, with only one of his 27 victories going to decision. He has 13 submissions, 13 KO/TKO's for a ratio of 96%, with two Fight of the Night awards, and two KO of the Night awards. He has fantastic kickboxing, very good submissions and a tremendous heart and killer instinct; when he has you hurt, he will do everything possible to finish you.
Condit has fought many top level/ rising contenders during his career, with wins over Dong Hyun Kim, Dan Hardy, Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger, and Frank Trigg. His only loss in the last 6 years is by split decision to Martin Kampmann during his UFC debut in 2009. Prior to that, he was on a 8 fight win streak that included him winning the WEC Welterweight title, and defending it a total of 3 times.
His only losses are to the previously mentioned Martin Kampmann, Carlo Prater, Jake Shields, Satoru Kitaoka, and Pat Healy. He's lost only once since 2006, and he has been dominate in nearly all of his victories. He is as deserving of a title shot as any fighter on the planet, and will cause issues for anyone that he steps into the cage with.
In his last 3 fights he was awarded the Fight of the Night in his come from behind victory over Rory MacDonald, then two KO of the Night awards for putting Dan Hardy to sleep with a left hook and knocking Dong Hyun Kim senseless with a flying knee and followed up ground and pound. He is as on hot a streak as anyone right now and against almost anyone on the planet he's a safe bet. He is a purple belt in BJJ, and has been training as a Mixed Martial Artist since he was a teenager, spending most of that time under Greg Jackson.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5-h3iab39E (vs. Prater)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOEO5yP6CHY (vs. Brennaman)
My Pick: Wow. I thought the last fight was a difficult pick and here I am unsure of who I'm am gonna go with again. Diaz has had problems with wrestlers in the past, that's not something he has to worry about against Condit. Diaz is very difficult to put away, but he was rocked hard in his fight against Paul Daley, and he has been stopped due to strikes, but that was once, early in his career. Condit probably hits just as hard as Daley and if he hurts someone he usually finishes them. If Diaz tries to hangout with his hands down against Condit it's very possible that he'll get TKO'd. Word is, Diaz has brought in a world champion Muay Thai expert to spar with, so it's unlikely that Condit will have anything he hasn't seen. Condit is usually the better man on the ground, but in this case he probably won't be. Both men are good off of their backs, but I give the edge to Diaz.
I am so happy this is a 25 minute fight because both of these fighters have great work ethics and they will be able to go hard all 5 rounds, and the pace will not slow down for a moment. This fight has "Fight of the Year" potential on it.
Both these guys are fast, tough and don't ever quit trying to win. Diaz is more of a boxer, whereas Condit is the kick boxer, so it's very likely we'll see Condit trying to use his kicks to stifle Diaz's boxing centered attack. I don't think we'll see a repeat of what happened to Donald Cerrone against Nate Diaz, where the Muay Thai striker was overwhelmed by the constant barrage of strikes thrown. If that does happen, if Nick gets in the face of Condit then it's likely there will be a new CompuStrike record for the most punches thrown in a fight.
These guys are so evenly matched on paper and their aggressive styles means this fight is going to be exciting. I don't think either fighter is going to be thinking about going to the ground. This fight is either going to end in one of three ways, a sudden flash KO win for Carlos Condit early. A later round TKO win for Diaz, or a split decision. I'm going with the betting favorite in this case, Nick Diaz by TKO in the forth round.
Now ENJOY THIS FAN MADE TRAILOR by Manias own CanuckForever
Diaz Vs Condit Trailer (UFC 143) - *Full HD* (via MrNHLFanatic)