UFC 143: Post Fight Stock Report
The world of MMA is a fickle one.
Fans tend to have short memories and so a fighter's stock can rise and fall just like that—I snapped my fingers there.
At UFC 143, we saw some surprisingly good and surprisingly underwhelming performances from a lot of fighters.
Let's take a look at how UFC 143's main card fighter's stocks are fairing after the fact.
Ed Herman: Rising
After spending almost two years away from the cage because of an injury, Herman has come back and amassed a solid three-fight win streak, finishing all three of his opponents.
At UFC 143, Herman took on Clifford Starks, who was undefeated heading into the fight, and managed to pull off a second-round rear naked choke.
Herman needs to get some bigger-name opponents if he wants to get himself into the top ten of the division, but as long as he keeps winning, he won't go unnoticed.
At 31 years old, Herman is in his prime. If he's going to make a run towards the title, now is the time to do it.
Clifford Starks: Falling
Clifford Starks came into UFC 143 undefeated, but also without having faced a significant opponent of any kind.
Ed Herman was the biggest test of Starks' career and Starks failed it pretty miserably.
In one night, Starks went from potential up-and-comer to confirmed mid to low-level fighter.
We will likely see him again in the UFC, but don't expect him to be making big waves in the middleweight division anytime soon.
Renan Barao: Rising
It's official: Renan Barao is a title contender at 135 lbs.
There's been hype around this guy for some time, but we needed to see him face a top contender to confirm that he was the real deal.
At UFC 143, Barao took on former title contender Scott Jorgensen and won the fight decisively, taking home a unanimous decision victory.
With the win, Barao is destined for a title shot, especially given that the bantamweight division is currently lacking in contenders for the belt.
Scott Jorgensen: Dipping Slightly
Scott Jorgensen's stock hasn't dropped too much, despite the loss at UFC 143.
He is still a top contender at bantamweight and a tough fight for anyone in the division. In fact, if he can string together a couple wins, he'll be right back in the title picture.
That said, unless it's an extremely close fight, a loss will always bring a fighters stock down and Jorgensen did lose decisively last night.
Josh Koscheck: Falling
Josh Koscheck put on a disappointing performance at UFC 143.
He was originally scheduled to face Carlos Condit, but Condit was bumped up to the main event when Georges St-Pierre was forced off the card with an injury.
In Condit's place the UFC put Mike Pierce, who many believed would be an easy opponent for Koscheck.
After all, Koscheck is considered by most to be a top five welterweight and Pierce isn't even a top ten.
However, it ended up being a close fight, with one judge even scoring it in Pierce's favor.
Just barely winning a split-decision wasn't enough to boost Koscheck's stock. He needed to dominate the fight.
Mike Pierce: Rising
Although he lost last night, Mike Pierce put on one of the best performances of his career.
Josh Koscheck is one of the elite at welterweight and Pierce hung in there with him and made it a competitive fight.
It was a no-pressure situation for Pierce, who was a replacement fighter and expected by most to lose badly, and he made the most of it—even winning the fight on one judge's scorecard.
At UFC 143, Pierce proved that he has what it takes to compete with the best in his division and you can bet that the UFC took notice.
Roy Nelson: Falling
Roy Nelson is a warrior and we love to watch him fight, but each time he steps in the cage it's looking more and more like he doesn't have what it takes to be a top contender.
As per usual, Nelson showed a ton of heart in his losing effort against Fabricio Werdum, but he wasn't able to mount much offense throughout the fight and was, more or less, a punching bag.
Nelson is now 1-3 in his past four bouts, with the one victory coming over a far-passed-prime Mirko Cro Cop.
Big Country will need to impress in his next fight or risk dropping to gatekeeper status.
Fabricio Werdum: Rising
After a few years away from the UFC, Fabricio Werdum returned at UFC 143 and proved that this is where he belongs.
Werdum was able to outwork and out-strike Roy Nelson for three straight rounds, en route to a definitive decision victory.
Throughout the fight, Werdum was able to effectively use the thai-clinch to bust Nelson's face up with knees.
It was a much needed victory for Werdum and the best striking performance of his mixed martial arts career.
Carlos Condit: Rising
..and the new, interim welterweight champion, Carlos Condit!
Condit went into the main event as an underdog and proved the odds-makers wrong, defeating Nick Diaz by unanimous decision.
It was a close fight in the early goings. Condit's strategy of weakening Diaz with leg kicks eventually paid dividends as Diaz' mobility was noticeably effected by the end of the fight.
Condit did garner some criticism for spending a lot of the fight moving backwards, but he was still landing more strikes more consistently than Diaz and that was enough for him to earn the decision.
Diaz is a master of getting other fighters to play his game and Condit was able to avoid that and employ his own game plan.
It wasn't Condit's most highlight-reel worthy win, but it was definitely his most impressive.
Nick Diaz: Dipping Slightly
Nick Diaz had a good showing last night, but his stock still drops a bit.
We learned some things about Diaz that we didn't know—bad things.
For instance, he doesn't check leg kicks. Condit threw a TON of leg kicks throughout the fight and Diaz made no real effort to check any of them, preferring to just absorb the damage.
We also learned that, as good as Diaz is at taking fighters out of their game, he can just as easily be taken out of his own. Diaz was noticeably frustrated by Condit's strategy throughout the fight, but did nothing to counter it.
After his fight with BJ Penn, many people were left scratching their heads, wondering how anyone was going to beat Diaz.
Last night, Condit laid out the formula.
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