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Old 02-06-2012, 05:39 PM
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Default Falling Action: Best and Worst of UFC 143

From MMAFighting.com:

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Feb 6, 2012 - UFC 143 delivered everything from brutal finishes to narrow decisions, with post-fight demonstrations that ranged from awesomely acrobatic to jaw-droppingly bizarre. Now that weíve all had some time to think it over and gorge ourselves on Super Bowl snacks, itís time to sift through the rubble for our biggest winners, losers, and everything in between.

Biggest Winner: Carlos Condit
The blood-and-guts crowd might not like how he did it, but Conditís strategy was brilliant and disciplined. He avoided the tight exchanges against the fence that Diaz spent the whole fight working for, and he refused to be baited into a street fight. He came in with the perfect plan for negating Diazís offense, and unlike many of his predecessors, Condit actually stuck to it. He beat the former Strikeforce champ with nearly flawless execution of a superior, though not necessarily popular strategy. Now heís the UFC interim champ, which means he gets a belt thatís only slightly more meaningful than the one Chael Sonnen walked around Chicago with. He also gets the ire of the fans who think any strategy that doesnít include standing in one place and swinging from your heels is somehow unfair or undignified. If he decides to wait until GSP is healthy before he fights again, Condit will get the chance to remedy both those problems in one night. Donít be surprised if winning over the fans proves to be a lot easier than winning the real belt.

Biggest Loser: Georges St-Pierre
Iíll admit it: this is partly because I canít think of anyone on this excellent fight card who really deserves to be called a loser. Most of the guys who were literal losers on the night still fought hard and performed well, so letís cut them slack and focus instead on GSP, who lost something almost as valuable as a title shot on Saturday night. When Diaz lost the decision and declared his intention to take his gloves and go home forever, St-Pierre lost a rival and a nemesis. He lost the chance to face the one person who he seemed to genuinely want to beat up. Now what? Heís supposed to fight Condit, who he has no strong feelings about either way, and who will almost certainly not flip him the bird at any point before, during, or after the fight? Thatís no fun. Not for fans, and probably not for GSP, whose passion for the sport seems to be waning just a tad. Diaz provoked some of his old bully-fighting feelings. He stoked the champís competitive fire and made him feel like he needed to be ready to fight in a hotel elevator. Now St-Pierre has lost all that, and without ever getting a say in the matter.

Most Surprising: Fabricio Werdum
Are we sure this is the same guy whose stand-up game consisted primarily of flopping onto his back just eight months ago? Against Nelson, it was as if Werdum had been born again as a kickboxer with lethal knees. You add that to his existing jiu-jitsu skills, and suddenly you have a serious heavyweight contender. Werdum seems uncomfortable being hit, and heís perhaps a little too quick to go to his back, but this win makes it clear that the big Brazilian is still improving. It also makes you wonder if he might still be in that heavyweight Grand Prix if heíd come into the Alistair Overeem fight with this sort of confidence in his striking game. On second thought, nevermind. It worked out better this way.

Least Impressive in Victory: Josh Koscheck
His split decision victory over Mike Pierce was a lot harder to come by than Koscheck seemed to think it would be. Pierce stalled his offense against the fence, turning the fight into a slow battle for takedowns and position. Normally thatís the kind of fight Koscheck excels in, but this one was a struggle. It was also a risk, since that decision could have easily gone the other way. Koscheck wrote a lot of it off to a lack of motivation for this fight, which is somewhat understandable. After fighting GSP and Matt Hughes, how do you get up for a fight with Mike Pierce? Then again, thatís his job. Thatís what the money is for. If he canít look within himself and find the drive necessary to put on a quality performance, maybe 20 UFC fights is just a few too many.

Most Impressive in Defeat: Roy Nelson
It wasnít exactly a display of technical brilliance on "Big Countryís" part, but it was another demonstration of his toughness. Some of those knees from Werdum would have decapitated a normal man. Maybe it was Nelsonís magical beard that helped protect him, or maybe he just has a harder head than most. Whatever the reason, he took everything Werdum had and gave some back when he got the chance. Itís clear now that Nelson will probably never be championship material in the UFC, but how can you not want to see this guy fight? He doesnít break, doesnít quit, and doesnít give opponents anything they didnít earn. This is a man whoís making his money the hard way in the UFC. Fans will keep showing up to watch him do it for as long as he can keep it up.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:26 PM
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Agreed, especially about Roy Nelson. He is one tough mofo. I made a comment that he was the "Cactus Jack" of the UFC. The man takes a beating and puts on a great show doing it.
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