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Posted on February 2, 2012 by John Petit

Breaking Down UFC 143: Josh Koscheck Vs Mike Pierce
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Nick Diaz was set to fight Georges St. Pierre at the main event of this card when injury struck and forced him to sit out most of 2012. Josh Koscheck was set to fight Carlos Condit but when the announcement came out that GSP was hurt, Condit was bumped up to the main event and left Koscheck without a dance partner for the event. That’s when Mike Pierce took to twitter, his website, and the media calling out Koscheck every chance he got. After enough noise, the UFC offered him the fight, and Koscheck agreed to the bout as well.

Koscheck is in a weird place right now in his career, he has fought the champ twice now, and he looked less than stellar in both competitions. Now that there is an interim belt on the line, with a win Koscheck could be seen in a different light. We have seen what Koscheck to do, and we know his game plan. He is a former NCAA champion wrestler, who has a serious overhand right that can rattle the brain of most fighters in the welterweight division. Just ask Matt Hughes, whom he knocked out at UFC 135 after sitting out most of 2011 with a broken orbital bone.

Mike Pierce is also a NCAA division 1 wrestler, and 3 of his losses are to Johnny Hendericks, Jon Fitch, and Mark Munoz (whom he fought at middleweight years before they were in the UFC.) Pierce has never been finished in 17 fights, and he needs a win against a top tier guy like Koscheck in order to be even considered a top ten  welterweight. This is his chance to do that, and with a win on Saturday he could get a shot at one of the top 5 guys at welterweight and with momentum even a title shot. None of that will be possible without win this Saturday, and make no mistake about it, this is a big step up in competition for him. They may have close to the same number of fights, but all but two of Koscheck’s fights have taken place in the Octagon.

Pierce has only finished one guy in the UFC, and Kos has proven he has a chin, so Koscheck will be fine with standing and trading with him. However, I do expect Koscheck to use take downs to squeeze out close rounds. If he stands and trades with Pierce, and even if he is winning the round, look for him to secure a takedown in the last 60 seconds of the round to really steer it his way. That’s the type of veteran game planning he is known for. We are going to learn a lot about pierce in this fight because Koscheck is known for making solid fighters look bad. If Pierce can get a win over Koscheck, it will no doubt put him on the map. If Pierce loses the bout, he will learn a lot about himself, and where he stands skill wise in the UFC.

I expect Koscheck to feel out Pierce on the feet, and if he feels he is winning, he will keep it there. He has transitioned his wrestling into MMA almost as good as anyone in the game, and is more than capable to avoid take downs or get up if he ends up on his back. I see Koscheck getting a unanimous decision win this bout.

 

Welterweight bout:
Josh Koscheck vs.  Mike Pierce

Josh Koscheck
74% Fights Won
37% Striking Accuracy
54% Takedown Accuracy

Style
STRIKING 28%
TAKEDOWNS 54%
SUBMISSIONS 19%

Odds: -245
Reach: 73 in
Record: 16-5
UFC Record: 14-5
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: -1

     Mike Pierce
75% Fights Won
45% Striking Accuracy
52% Takedown Accuracy

Style
STRIKING 33%
TAKEDOWNS 55%
SUBMISSIONS 12%\

Odds:+185
Reach: 71 in
Record: 13-4
UFC Record: 5-2
Last 5: 4-1
Streak: +1

 

 

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