It's always interesting to look ahead at the next UFC card and try to pick who will take home the bonuses for the night's best knockout, submission and fight. UFC 143 features some heavy competition in each of those categories but there's always a surprise or two once the fights actually go down.
Here are my picks for the bonuses, hit up the comments to let me know where you agree and disagree.
Fight of the Night: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
I think it's hard to pick anything other than the main event for this one. Nick Diaz is simply one of the most exciting fighters on the planet and in Carlos Condit he faces a fellow fighter who "brings it" every time out. It's a battle of different kinds of aggression and violence but similarly hard to break wills (something along the lines of "gameness" that Luke Thomas talked about).
While I don't think this goes all five rounds, the action from bell to bell should be incredible and both men having the ability to fight on the feet or floor means there should be no real lulls in the action.
Second Choice: Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen - These bantamweights are going to bring some really solid action on the main card.
Follow after the jump for submission and knockout picks...
Knockout of the Night: Dustin Poirier
Poirier hasn't finished anyone since coming to the UFC but he has laid some beatings on people. The diverse attack that he showcased against Josh Grispi in a fight where Poirier was basically there to play "opponent" is hard to overlook. In Max Holloway, Poirier takes on a guy with four career professional fights coming in on fairly late notice. Maybe it's cheating to pick the big experience differential and late notice fight, but I have a feeling Poirier is going to finish Holloway in violent fashion.
Second Choice: Roy Nelson - I have a feeling that Werdum might get a little too cute and eat a big right hand from Nelson that ends his night.
Submission of the Night: Edwin Figueroa
Figueroa is set to face Alex Caceres on the FX portion of the undercard. The key here is that Caceres has lost four of his last six professional bouts by submission. Figueroa tends to finish fights with strikes more than submissions, but Caceres has such an easy to exploit game on the ground that I'm riding with Edwin to take a great submission in this one.
Second Choice: Nick Diaz - Strange gut feeling here that at some point Condit looks to get the fight to the floor after not liking the combinations of Diaz and ends up in a fight ending triangle choke.
So what do you think? Agree, disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments.