UFC 143 Predictions: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce

Mike HodgesCorrespondent IFebruary 4, 2012

Courtesy of MMAJunkie.com
Courtesy of MMAJunkie.com

Josh Koscheck will look to remain in contention at 170 pounds as he faces off against welterweight prospect Mike Pierce at UFC 143.

Coming off a recent knockout victory over Matt Hughes at UFC 135, Koscheck will try to establish his dominance against Pierce as he attempts to earn another chance at challenging for the UFC welterweight title. The former NCAA Division I wrestler has fallen short on two separate occasions to Georges St-Pierre, but he will hope to embark on a new path if he can gain momentum and get his second straight win.

Pierce is as tough as they come, however. Despite losing to elite wrestlers in Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks, has steadily climbed up the rankings, but has yet to make an immediate impact and convince fans that he can contend for a future title shot. If he is able to get the win over Koscheck, he'll have a better opportunity at making that claim.

Koscheck is one of the division's world-class wrestlers and he also holds knockout power in his right hand. While not necessarily the most technical striker, "Kos" can impose his will on his opponents and put them in danger with a single shot. 

Pierce is also not the most gifted striker, technically, and relies on his one-punch knockout power as well. 

Historically, Pierce has not fared well against elite grapplers and it will show once again in a bout with Koscheck. He might win some of the exchanges on the feet, but Koscheck's wrestling is difficult to defend against and will constantly apply pressure on the 30-year-old Pierce, taking him down and controlling him, and he will pick up the victory via unanimous decision.

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