UFC 143 Fight Primer: Dan Stittgen Vs. Stephen Thompson

Dan Stittgen and Stephen Thompson stare down at the UFC 143 weigh-ins. (Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com)

A battle of UFC rookie welterweights -- Dan Stittgen (7-1) vs. Stephen Thompson (5-0) -- opens up UFC 143, but one of the combatants is undefeated in over 60 fights and trained by one of the best in the business.

How do these two stack up?

Stittgen: 31 | 6'1"

Thompson: 28 | 6'0" | 75" reach

How did these two get here?

Stittgen is a third-year pro, competing mainly in the central U.S. He's finished six fights, five by various submissions. Until a recent decision victory, Stittgen had never gone outside the first round.

While the undefeated Thompson is relatively new to MMA, he comes into the UFC with a tremendous kickboxing background (37-0 amateur, 20-0 pro, 46 total KOs) and a slew of championships to his credit. He made his pro MMA debut in early 2010 and has fared well in the southern U.S. circuit with decision wins in his last two.

What else should you know?

Thompson (ranked #10 in our recent World MMA Scouting Report) has done some training with Firas Zahabi and is a black belt in several martial arts with a blue belt in Brazilian jiujitsu. He's clearly the more experienced fighter of the two, but Stittgen is no easy draw for Thompson. MMA Fighting's Mike Chiappetta did a feature on Thompson, which is worth checking out.

Why should you care?

With two guys looking to make an impact and a history of finishing opponents on both sides, this could be a very fun fight if both Thompson and Stittgen decide to really go for it. Alas, the curse of the boring UFC debut may arise as well.

How can you watch?

Facebook at approximately 7 PM EST

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

SBN coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit

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