Stay tuned to fightofthenight.com this evening for all the results live as they happen from UFC 143 in Las Vegas.
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Carlos Condit defeats Nick Diaz by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46 x2)
Fabricio Werdum defeats Roy Nelson by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Josh Koscheck defeats Mike Pierce by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Renan Barao defeats Scott Jorgensen by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Ed Herman defeats Clifford Starks by submission (rear-naked choke) at 1.43mins of Rd2
Dustin Poirier defeats Max Holloway by submission (triangle armbar) at 3.23mins of Rd1
Great ground work here from Poirier after Holloway surprised him in the early stages on the feet by taking the fight to him and looking fairly slick with his striking. Things quickly changed when Poirier took him down however as he obtained full mount and before long had Holloway in an ambar attempt. Holloway rolled out and got on top, but while doing so Poirier switched to triangle choke. He used that to flip Holloway to get on top again and then while still maintaining the choke he grabbed his limb and cinched up an armbar to force the tap. Awesome submission and again marks Poirier out as one of the best talents in the division.
Edwin Figueroa defeats Alex Caceres by split decision (28-27 x2, 27-28)
Two of the most significant strikes of this bout were unfortunately illegal – with Caceres catching Figueroa with a heavy kick to the groin in the first round which left him writhing on the ground and requiring several minutes to recover, and then finding himself in the same position in the second. That lead to Caceres being deducted two points and changed the outlook of the fight as up until that point, and indeed in the third round that would follow he had acquitted himself well, matching up well with Figueroa in the stand-up and dominating him on the ground. Figueroa did have a big moment in the first though with a head kick that dropped Caceres, though he did well to recover and end the round outgrappling him. Still, the illegal strikes proved costly and Figueroa got the nod from the judges. Tough loss for Caceres, and he’ll rue the fact he didn’t finish Figueroa on the ground as he had multiple choke attempts throughout the 15 minutes of action.
Matt Brown defeats Chris Cope by KO at 1.19mins of Rd2
Solid win for Brown here. He had a definite edge over Cope in the stand-up, in the clinch and with an overall more aggressive approach, and it really began to pay dividends in the second round. The beginning of the end for Cope came when he was caught with a right hook to the temple that sent him backwards on shaky legs, followed by a left hook that dropped him, his head thudding the canvas in the process. A few ground and pound strikes followed and it was all over.
Matt Riddle defeats Henry Martinez by split decision (29-28 x2, 28-29)
Good competitive fight here. Martinez was the better man in the first round, biting down on his gumshields and firing off hard combinations of counter-strikes every time Riddle pressed forward which left him frustrated. The first half of the second round was similar, but finally Riddle twigged to the fact that his kicks to the body were hurting Martinez and helped keep him at bay. That lead to Riddle coming on very strong in the final minute of the round and he appeared to have his now tiring opponent hurt in the process. That new found confidence was carried by Riddle into the third round where he was now launching virtually nothing but kicks, and also managed to secure a couple of takedowns as well to ensure the round, and ultimately the fight, would go on his favor.
Rafael Natal defeats Michael Kuiper by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28)
Natal dominated kuiper on the ground with multiple takedowns in the first round and secured another one in the second along with a lot of clinch based work. The third round swung towards Kuiper early though as he dropped Natal with a big right uppercut and then landed a barrage of ground and pound strikes to the still dazed fighter. Eventually he gathered his bearings though and was able to get up before dropping Kuiper down and finished the round strongly by getting full mount and then switching to an arm triangle, though he couldn’t force the tap.
Stephen Thompson defeats Dan Stittgen by KO at 4.13mins of Rd1
Thompson came with a hugely impressive record in karate and kickboxing and he certainly showed why here. Looking comfortable in his UFC debut he threw a multitude of front leg kicks to the head, body and legs of his bewildered opponent in the opening stages of the fight. Then in the final minute of the round he threw a brief punching combination and then faked a low kick before switching it up high and it landed in picture perfect fashion, instantly KO’ing Stittgen. Beautiful technique shown here and that’s going to help him get instant attention in the promotion.