UFC 143 Fight Card Primer: Josh Koscheck Vs. Mike Pierce

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Not many guys can say they have 20 fights in the UFC, but after Saturday night, one of the combatants in this fight can make that claim. Whether he can say that after his hand is raised or not remains to be seen, because he's facing one of the toughest opponents of his career. American Kickboxing Academny's Josh Koscheck (16-5, 14-5 UFC) faces off with Team Quest's Mike Pierce (13-4, 5-2 UFC).

Koscheck is currently number six at welterweight in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings, while Pierce is unranked. Frankly, it's a crime that Pierce isn't on the list as he is clearly a top-20 fighter at 170 pounds. Kos isn't going to move up much with a win here, but Pierce could finally earn the respect he deserves with the upset. This welterweight UFC 143 fight will be the third bout of the main card, and will be aired live on pay-per-view. The PPV broadcast begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.

How do these two stack up?

Koscheck: 34 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach
Pierce: 31 years old | 5'8" | 71" reach

What have these two done recently?

Koscheck: W - Matt Hughes (KO) | L - Georges St. Pierre (UD) | W - Paul Daley (UD)
Pierce: W - Paul Bradley (SD) | L - Johny Hendricks (SD) | W - Kenny Robertson (TKO)

How did these two get here?

Josh Koscheck is a name that you probably recognize by now. He was TUF 1's bad boy, and has carved out a stellar UFC career over the last six years. As mentioned above, this is his 20th bout in the organization. The 34-year-old put together a three-fight winning streak in 2009-10 that was enough to earn a second fight with Georges St. Pierre. They had met once before in a non-title bout, and GSP had eked out a close decision. This time though, at UFC 124, St. Pierre broke Koscheck's orbital bone with the first jab of the fight, which forced Kos to gut out 25 minutes of agony and led to a unanimous decision loss. He is undoubtedly one of the top welterweights in the world though, and rebounded from a long orbital injury layoff with a first round knockout of UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. Can Kos maintain his spot in the pecking order tonight?

Mike Pierce is a blue-collar wrestler from Oregon that earned fame the hard way. After grinding it out on the Pacific Northwest circuit and putting up an impressive WEC victory, Pierce earned a UFC bout and dispatched Brock Larson by unanimous decision. His next scheduled bout for UFC 107 was a gigantic step up when he was scheduled to face...guess who? Josh Koscheck! The UFC changed things up though and gave Kos Anthony Johnson while sticking Pierce with arguably an even tougher opponent, Jon Fitch. Fitch dominated the first two rounds, but Pierce rebounded in the third and hurt Fitch badly. He was unable to get the finish though, and dropped a decision. Three straight wins after that led to a bout with Johny Hendricks, where Pierce fought valiantly but dropped a split decision. He rebounded with a second win over Paul Bradley though, and now looks for the biggest win of his career over Kos.

Why should you care?

Koscheck talks a lot, but he usually backs it up. Can he defeat a man that MIGHT be his equal when it comes to MMA grappling? The winner will get a big-name opponent next time out, so this is vital for the career of both guys. That should make it worth your time.

You can catch more UFC 143 preview content from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit

UFC 143: Georges St. Pierre Explains How Nick Diaz Is 'Fake Crazy' - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 143: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit Main Event Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Roy Nelson Vs. Fabricio Werdum Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Josh Koscheck Vs. Mike Pierce Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143 Judo Chop: Fabricio Werdum Striking Analysis - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 143 'Diaz Vs. Condit' Exclusive Weigh-Ins Photo Gallery - Matthew Roth

Super Bowl XLVI Video: NFL Players Pick The Winners of UFC 143 - Matthew Roth

UFC 143 Weigh-In Results: Carlos Condit 169, Nick Diaz 169 - Tim Burke

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Renan Barao Vs. Scott Jorgensen Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Staff Predictions - Tim Burke

Frank Mir Thinks UFC 143's Fabricio Werdum Is Heavyweight's Best Grappler - Matt Roth

Frank Mir Thinks UFC 143's Fabricio Werdum Is Heavyweight's Best Grappler - Matt Roth

UFC 143 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC 143 Video: Watch Full Countdown Show On Bloody Elbow - Josh Nason

UFC 143 Judo Chop: Carlos Condit Lands A Flying Knee KO - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 143: Dana White 'No One Knew GSP At One Time Either' - Matt Roth

UFC 143: Details Of The New PPV Opening Montage, RIP Gladiator Man - Matt Roth

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Ed Herman Vs. Clifford Starks Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: Picking Knockout, Submission And Fight Of The Night Bonuses - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 143 Judo Chop: The Striking And Grappling Technique Of Nick Diaz - Kid Nate

UFC 143 Pre-Fight Press Conference Coverage And Video - Tim Burke

UFC 143 Video: Josh Koscheck Hopes Georges St. Pierre 'Never Comes Back' From Knee Surgery - Kid Nate

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 131: UFC 143 Preview - Matt Bishop

UFC 143 Video: Nick Diaz Not Happy With UFC Editing - Tim Burke

UFC 143: A Look At The Ground Games of Fabricio Werdum and Roy Nelson - Ben Thapa

UFC 143: Nick Diaz Details The Story Behind His Elite Level Conditioning - Anton Tabuena

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 143 Video: Nick Diaz Talks Carlos Condit, Georges St. Pierre - Kid Nate

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - FX Channel Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: Nick Diaz Vs. Carlos Condit Defines 'Gameness' - Kid Nate

UFC 143: Undefeated Stephen Thompson Hopes To Make Case For Karate In MMA - Kid Nate

UFC 143: Diaz Vs. Condit - Facebook Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 143: The Contradictory Marketing Of Nick Diaz And How The Reem May Not Be As Awesome As You Think - Ben Thapa

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