UFC 143 Results Recap: Matt Riddle Vs. Henry Martinez

Matt Riddle kicks Henry Martinez at UFC 143 on Feb. 4, 2012 in Las Vegas. Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.

In a UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit preliminary fight in the Welterweight division, Matt Riddle barely squeaked by Henry Martinez to take a split decision victory. The judges scored the bout 29-28, 28-29, 29-28. Both Riddle and Martinez were replacements for the originally scheduled Amir Sadollah vs. Jorge Lopez fight. Riddle brings his record up to 6-3, while Martinez loses in his UFC debut and drops to 8-2.

From the beginning it was clear that Riddle had a significant size advantage over Martinez, who typically fights at Lightweight. However, over most of the first two rounds, it was Martinez who controlled the action with superior boxing. Late in the second round, Riddle switched his primary striking from punches to kicks in order to take advantage of his reach. From there out, Riddle controlled the fight, resulting in the close decision win.

What was the high spot of this fight?

Late in the second Riddle figured out how to deal with Martinez and celebrated by launching a wild combo that was fun in that crazy brawling kind of way.

Where do these guys go from here?

Riddle seems like one of those fighters who is more interested in going out there and having fun than actually winning and advancing his career, which makes him a tough one to set up fights for. Maybe fellow TUF season 7 alum Amir Sadollah?

Martinez almost won a fight where he was giving up considerable size. He deserves another UFC shot back at Lightweight against any one of dozens of other lower end Lightweight fighters.

Watch it now, later or never?

Later if you like the kind of wild Garcia type stand-up battle, never if you don't.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit in the full entry.

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