With Condit Facing Diaz, Josh Koscheck Gets Mike Pierce at UFC 143

Mike Pierce

Wrestler vs. wrestler on Super Bowl card

Wednesday’s injury to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre had a ripple effect on the UFC 143 card in February.

In the wake of the injury, which is expected to keep the champion out for 10 months, Carlos Condit‘s roller coaster ride toward a title shot took another turn. Condit went from the co-main event against Josh Koscheck to the main event against original St-Pierre opponent Nick Diaz – with the interim title on the line.

That left Koscheck without an opponent, and overnight the UFC announced the one-time title contender will remain on the Super Bowl weekend card in Las Vegas to face Mike Pierce.

Pierce (13-4, 5-2 UFC) has won four of his last five fights, including a split decision win over Paul Bradley at the UFC on Fox show last month. That fight got him back in the win column after a split decision loss to Johny Hendricks at UFC 133. Before that, he had a three-fight winning streak. His two UFC losses have both come to wrestlers – Hendricks and Jon Fitch at UFC 107. Pierce wrestled collegiately at Portland State, but in Koscheck he faces yet another strong wrestler.

Koscheck (16-5, 14-5 UFC) in September knocked out UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in the first round at UFC 135 in Denver. That was his first fight since a unanimous decision loss to St-Pierre for the welterweight title at UFC 124. A broken orbital bone suffered early in that fight kept Koscheck on the shelf after surgery. Before the loss to GSP, Koscheck had a three-fight winning streak.

Koscheck and Pierce were booked to fight nearly two years ago at UFC Fight Night 20. But Koscheck instead fought Anthony Johnson at UFC 106, and Pierce was matched up with Fitch, Koscheck’s American Kickboxing Academy teammate. The fight will take place on the UFC 143 pay-per-view card.

UFC 143 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. With St-Pierre vs. Diaz scrapped, Diaz vs. Condit for the interim title is the new main event.

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