The UFC's welterweight division is in the spotlight this Saturday, and before Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit battle for the UFC interim welterweight championship in the main event, former NCAA Division I wrestlers Josh Koscheck (16-5) and Mike Pierce (13-4) will fight to determine a possible top contender.
Pierce enters the fight having come off of two closely contested fights versus Paul Bradley and Johny Hendricks. He was victorious against Bradley in what was a rematch, but lost to Hendricks, who since has gone on to knock out No. 2-ranked welterweight Jon Fitch. Pierce also fought Fitch in a 2009 bout and lost a close decision.
"I think there is going to be a little mix of everything," Pierce said regarding his plan of attack for this bout. "We took a look at his fights, and where we think he's got some holes in his game, and where we can exploit those. We're going to press the action and we're going to take advantage of the opportunities that show up, so that's what we intend to do."
Koscheck will enter the fight having come off his first-round knockout win over Matt Hughes from UFC 135. It was his first fight since losing to UFC welterweight champion George St-Pierre in 2010.
"He's the guy that everyone loves to hate in the welterweight division," Pierce continued. "He's like the Michael Bisping of the welterweights. Like, nobody likes that guy, and everyone has their thing. I'm not quite like that. I'm not going to promote myself that way."
"Everyone has their own style. For him, that works, it's great, but that's just not me," Pierce said. "Why he hasn't said more, I'm not 100 percent sure why. It really doesn't matter. I'm going to speak more inside the cage than out."
UFC 143 will be available on pay-per-view and feature this fight along with Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit, Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barao, Fabricio Werdum vs. Roy Nelson and Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks.