Welterweights set for prelims in Las Vegas
A fight between a pair of welterweight veterans of “The Ultimate Fighter” looking to rebound from losses last month has been added to UFC 143.
Matt Brown will meet Chris Cope on the UFC’s Super Bowl Saturday card in Las Vegas. The UFC announced the fight Friday morning, saying verbal agreements are in place for the fight. UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The Brown-Cope fight is expected to take place on the preliminary card, the bouts from which are likely to air live on FX.
Brown (12-11, 5-5 UFC) has lost four of his last five fights – all four by submission. The lone win came in June with a unanimous decision upset of John Howard. Brown was a +250 underdog in the fight. But at UFC 139 last month, he was submitted by Seth Baczynski, entering the loss column once again. Before his win over Howard, Brown had three straight submission setbacks in 2010 to Ricardo Almeida, Chris Lytle and Brian Foster. The Season 7 veteran of “The Ultimate Fighter” had started his UFC career 4-1 with four stoppage wins before hitting his current two-year rough patch.
Cope (5-2, 1-1 UFC) was a semifinalist on Season 13 of TUF, losing to eventual runner-up Ramsey Nijem. But he still got a shot at the UFC with a fight against housemate Chuck O’Neill at the TUF 13 Finale in June, winning by unanimous decision. But he followed that win up with a loss to Che Mills last month at UFC 138, getting stopped in just 40 seconds after a big knee from Mills and follow-up strikes. Before joining the TUF 13 cast, Cope went 1-0 for Strikeforce.
UFC 143 features a main event interim welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz with champ Georges St-Pierre on the shelf for much of 2012 following surgery on his ACL. Also on the card, Josh Koscheck fights Mike Pierce and Fabricio Werdum, a Pride and Strikeforce veteran, rejoins the UFC to face TUF 10 winner Roy Nelson.