I presented three huge questions as we prepared for UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit last week, and now I want to provide the answers to those questions with a little commentary. Here are the three questions:
- Will Nick Diaz be able to ‘move the needle’ as a legitimate PPV draw?
I think a case can be made that Nick Diaz is able to move the needle as a legitimate PPV draw. I haven’t seen any early PPV reports in regards to how many buys UFC 143 received, but online traffic and PPV buys seem to have a relationship. My Twitter timeline was absolutely blown up on Saturday night during and after the Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit fight. All of the tweets were mainly in regards to the judges decision, but it means people were watching the event regadless. My initial estimate was that the event would do around 300, 000 PPV buys, and if it did anywhere close to that I’m sure the brass at Zuffa were happy. It’ll be interesting to see the early estimates on this one.
I wrote that Mike Pierce could beat Josh Koscheck. I scored the fight for Pierce live, and Fightmetric stats prove that Pierce landed more significant strikes in rounds 1 and 2. He also threw and landed more strikes than Koscheck did as a whole. Koscheck got two takedowns while Pierce took him own once, but neither fight could capitalize on the position or keep their opponent on the ground long at all. One of the judges scored the fight for Mike Pierce 29-28, and that’s how the fight should have been scored as a whole in my opinion. It’s clear that Koscheck has become fairly one dimensional in his attack. The only reason he went for a takedown againt Pierce is because Pierce was able to take him down first. He wasn’t landing anything significant standing, so that was the only way he could make up that ground was by going for the takedown against Pierce. Koscheck is suffering from Fedor Emelianenko syndrome in that he has forgotten what made him a elite fighter, and now relies on haymakers to connect in hopes of knocking his opponents out.
- Will Renan Barao become the next challenger for UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz?
I think Barao proved that he’s the real deal in there against Scott Jorgensen on Saturday night. Barao is an almost exact carbon copy of UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, and he took out a top ten bantamweight in Scotty Jorgensen rather easily. The only question for Barao is the timing of his next fight. Should he wait and fight the winner of the upcoming Dominick Cruz/Urijah Faber fight, or should he take another fight int he meantime to stay busy? Cruz and Faber will not fight until around May or June which puts Barao on the shelf for about six months or so if he does indeed get the next title shot. What would you like to see him do?