Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLA via Getty Images
The UFC confirmed a pair of welterweight fights today, that have been booked for the February 4th UFC 143 card in Las Vegas. TUF alums, Matt Brown and Chris Cope will square off, and another TUF'er, Justin Edwards, will meet Mike Stumpf:
Despite welterweights Nick Diaz, Carlos Condit, Josh Koscheck, and Mike Pierce already topping the bill on February 4th's UFC 143 card in Las Vegas, there's always more room for top-notch 170-pounders, and that's what fans will get, as UFC President Dana White announced two more verbally agreed to bouts between Matt "The Immortal" Brown and Chris Cope, and Justin Edwards and Mike Stumpf.
"Top-notch 170-pounders" might be a bit of a stretch here, as all four men are badly in need of a win to make a case for their continued employment by the UFC. Despite a decent fan-base and an exciting style, Matt Brown's 12-11 record speaks for itself, as does his predilection for getting caught in submissions, even from opponents who aren't particularly known for their grappling prowess. Cope competed on one of the more underwhelming season of TUF, talent-wise, and despite a win over Chuck O'Neill at the season finale, his inability to deal with more skilled fighters showed when he was brutally KOd by Che Mills in less than a minute at UFC 138.
Edwards competed on the same TUF season as Cope, and after dropping a close split decision to Clay Harvison at the finale, rebounded by taking out the highly-touted Jorge Lopez in more clear-cut fashion back in September. Edwards then filled in on short notice against John Maguire at UFC 138, but fell victim to the Brit's grappling game and got dominated on the mat for a decision loss. Stumpf also made his UFC debut as a short-notice replacement against T.J. Waldburger at UFN 25, and the Jeff Curran-trained fighter quickly found himself ensnared in the buzz-saw submission game of Waldburger, tapping to a triangle choke in the first round.
The UFC 143 card now includes:
-Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit - UFC interim welterweight championship
-Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
-Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
-Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen
-Dustin Poirier vs. Ricardo Lamas
-Alex Caceres vs. Edwin Figueroa
-Amir Sadollah vs. Jorge Lopez
-Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper
-Matt Brown vs. Chris Cope
-Justin Edwards vs. Mike Stumpf