Las Vegas, Nev. (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship® announced today that two of the sport’s top welterweight contenders will vie for the interim 170-pound title. Nick Diaz, a fiery and unpredictable southpaw riding an 11-fight win streak, will battle the division’s most fearsome knockout artist, Carlos Condit, when the UFC returns to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas on Saturday, Feb. 4.
“With GSP out for 10 months, we are going to have Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit fight to crown an interim welterweight champion,” UFC President Dana White said. “I’ve had my differences with Nick, but he is a fighter through and through. The one thing I can guarantee is that come fight night, he is going to throw down. We all saw that in his last performance against BJ Penn. Carlos Condit is no different. He’s knocked out his last three opponents and believes he is the best fighter in the division. I get goose bumps just thinking about this fight!”
Additional fights scheduled for this event include: welterweight bad boy Josh Koscheck vs. powerful wrestler Mike Pierce, as well as a pivotal featherweight bout pitting Erik “New Breed” Koch vs. Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.
Tickets for UFC®143: DIAZ vs. CONDIT, presented by BUD LIGHT®, go on sale TOMORROW, Friday, Dec. 16 at 10 a.m. PT and are priced at $750, $500, $350, $225, $125 and $75. Tickets will be available at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations (select Smith’s Food and Drug Centers and Ritmo Latino). Ticket sales are limited to eight (8) per person. To charge by phone with a major credit card, call Ticketmaster at (800) 745-3000. Tickets also are available for purchase at www.mandalaybay.com or www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices do not include applicable service charges.
A special Internet ticket pre-sale is available NOW to UFC newsletter subscribers. To access this presale, users must register for the UFC newsletter through UFC.com.
UFC®143: DIAZ vs. CONDIT will be available live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on UFC.TV, iN DEMAND, DirecTV, DISH Network, Avail-TVN, BellTV, Shaw Communications, Sasktel, and Viewer’s Choice Canada for a suggested retail price of $44.99 US/$49.99 CAN for Standard Definition and $54.99 US/$59.99 CAN for High Definition.
Official UFC VIP packages are also available at http://vip.ufc.com. These packages include tickets to UFC 143, official event merchandise, as well as special VIP experiences with backstage tours and meet and greets with top UFC stars. Get closer to the action than ever before with this unique UFC VIP opportunity.
During his reign as STRIKEFORCE welterweight champion, Nick Diaz (fighting out of Stockton, Calif.) defeated archrival KJ Noons and finished both Evangelista Santos and Paul Daley en route to becoming the organization’s best 170-pound fighter. Returning to the UFC with his destruction of Penn last October, Diaz – whose brother Nate is also a UFC competitor – looks to knock off Condit and secure his first UFC world title.
“I wanted to fight Georges St-Pierre and I still want that fight when Georges comes back,” Diaz, who owns a record of 27-7, 1 NC, said. “Right now, I’m focused on beating Carlos Condit. He’s tough and he’s knocked a lot of guys out, but that doesn’t concern me. I know I’m a better fighter in all areas. I’m gonna win that belt on February 4.”
Nicknamed “The Natural Born Killer,” Carlos Condit (fighting out of Albuquerque, N.M.)
is a 27-year-old former WEC champion with four straight wins, three of which came by way of knockout. A pupil of renowned trainer Greg Jackson, Condit (27-5) now has the chance to fulfill a lifelong goal of winning the UFC welterweight title. He’s also motivated by the chance to fight one of the sport’s top pound-for-pound best.
“Ever since I began my career in mixed martial arts, it has been my goal to be a UFC champion,” Condit said. “Upon hearing the news that I would be fighting for the interim welterweight title, I cannot begin to describe the mix of emotion that came over me. I am thankful to have such an opportunity. This will be the biggest fight of my career and I am ready to show that I am deserving of it.
“Nick is a great fighter,” Condit added. “He’s also a hungry and motivated fighter. Both of us want to be the champion more than anyone could imagine. I look forward to training for the challenges that he will present in the Octagon. We both have aggressive styles, and that should provide for an entertaining fight for both the UFC and the fans.”
An elite competitor who has fought some of the division’s toughest names, Josh Koscheck (fighting out of Fresno, Calif.) is fresh off a knockout victory over UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes in September. A member of the renowned American Kickboxing Academy and a former NCAA Division I national champion wrestler, “Kos” now turns his attention to ending the rise of Mike Pierce (fighting out of Vancouver, Wash.). Having won four of his last five fights, Pierce (13-4) is a hard-charging wrestler known for his ferocious ground and pound. He looks for the biggest win of his career when he meets Koscheck (18-5) on February 4.
A pupil of renowned striking coach Duke Roufus, Erik Koch (fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) has made an immediate impact since joining the UFC earlier this year, knocking out Raphael Assuncao in March and besting The Ultimate Fighter® season 12 winner Jonathan Brookins in September. To earn a crack at the featherweight title, the 23-year-old Koch (13-1) must defeat another surging prospect in 22-year-old Dustin Poirier (fighting out of Lafayette, La.).
With a perfect 3-0 mark since dropping to featherweight at the start of 2011, the gritty Poirier (11-1) has impressed many thanks to decision victories over Josh Grispi and Jason Young, as well as a dynamic submission win over Pablo Garza in November at UFC®on FOX. Eyeing his own shot at the 145-pound crown, Poirier is gearing up for what should be an incredible bout with Koch at Mandalay Bay.
Additional bouts will be announced at UFC.com in the weeks to come. All bouts live and subject to change.