Diaz And Condit Lead UFC 143 Betting Card

By: Matty Simo | Tuesday, January 31, 2012

With welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre out of commission for most of 2012 due to a torn ACL in his right knee, the interim title belt will be on the line Saturday night at UFC 143 in Las Vegas when Nick Diaz faces Carlos Condit.

Five bouts will take place on the main card overall and broadcast live on Pay-Per-View from Mandalay Bay Events Center starting at 10:00 p.m. (ET).  The event will also be shown in 3D at select theaters across the country following six fights on the preliminary card, four of which will be televised on FX beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Diaz (27-7-1) is the former Strikeforce welterweight champ and vacated his title to return to the UFC.  He was originally slated to challenge St. Pierre for the championship at UFC 137, but a series of blunders by his own doing nearly cost him the main event.  Diaz was temporarily replaced by Condit (27-5) after missing a series of press conferences leading up to the event, and then St. Pierre was forced to withdraw from that bout due to a knee injury.

Condit decided to wait for his opportunity against St. Pierre, putting Diaz back in the UFC 137 main event against B.J. Penn.  Diaz dominated the fight, earning a unanimous decision victory that ended up forcing Penn into retirement.  He called out St. Pierre after the win, prompting UFC President Dana White to set up the matchup even though Condit was next in line.

When St. Pierre had to withdraw from UFC 143 because his knee required surgery, his natural replacement became Condit.  Diaz has won his last 11 bouts and is a 200 favorite against Condit (+160), who is 12-1 in his past 13.  Condit’s last two fights have earned Knockout of the Night honors, including a first-round KO of Dong Hyun Kim at UFC 132 on July 2.

Josh Koscheck (18-5) was supposed to meet Condit on the main card until the St. Pierre-Diaz match was called off, but he will take part in another welterweight matchup against Mike Pierce (13-4) instead.  Koscheck knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in the first round at UFC 135 on September 24, a little more than nine months after suffering a broken orbital bone around his right eye in a unanimous decision loss to St. Pierre at UFC 124.

Pierce is 5-2 in the UFC with the two losses coming to Jon Fitch and Johny Hendricks by decisions.  He is coming off a split decision win over Paul Bradley at UFC on FOX 1 on November 12.  Koscheck is a solid 240 favorite against Pierce (+190).

The bout featuring the two biggest fighters on the card will happen between heavyweights Roy Nelson (17-6) and Fabricio Werdum (14-5-1).  Nelson scored a third-round TKO of Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic at UFC 137 after losing his previous two bouts against Junior Dos Santos and Frank Mir.  Werdum is a slim 130 favorite against Nelson (+100) and returns to the UFC following four fights in Strikeforce, where he made it to the quarterfinals of the heavyweight tournament before losing to Alistair Overeem on June 18 via unanimous decision.

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