UFC 143 Results Recap: Josh Koscheck Vs. Mike Pierce

Image via Esther Lin of MMA Fighting

In the third bout of the UFC 143 main card, Josh Koscheck didn't look great but he managed to squeak out a split decision victory over a game Mike Pierce. Pierce outstruck Kos over the course of the fight, but Josh used timely takedowns and a few power shots to get the razor-thin victory. While some people were screaming robbery, the fight just came down to an extremely close second round that honestly could have gone either way. The final scores were 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 in favor of Koscheck.

The bout sets up Koscheck for a possible shot at interim champ Carlos Condit (who he was originally scheduled to meet on this card) if Condit chooses to defend his title before Georges St. Pierre returns from injury. One of the biggest pieces of news in terms of Kos came after the fight though, when he stated that he had left American Kickboxing Academy. Pierce can't seem to get over the hump when he faces top-level opponents, and where he goes from here is somewhat unclear.

What was the high spot of this fight?

It was a battle of grinders, and not a lot was going on. The most interesting part was probably when Koscheck poked Pierce in the eye after receiving an earlier warning, but referee Herb Dean elected not to take a point from him. It ended up making a big difference on the outcome.

Where do these guys go from here?

Koscheck didn't look very good at all, but he picked up the W anyway. He has now won two straight bouts since his return from a long orbital injury layoff, and has re-established himself as a top contender. Could he get a shot at Condit's interim belt? Maybe. Now that he has left AKA, the possibility of a Josh Koscheck vs. Jon Fitch fight was floated as well, but seems unlikely. A bout with Nick Diaz (if doesn't choose retirement) is a definite possibility as well.

Pierce is now 5-3 in the UFC, with all his losses being in close fights with top-shelf talent. He is clearly a guy that can give almost any 170 pounder fits, but a combination of some bad luck and coming up a tiny bit short has slowed his ascent in the division. A bout with former training partner Rick Story would be very interesting and the bad blood would definitely add some flavor to the matchup.

Watch it now, later or never?

Never. Koscheck's post fight speech (where he flipped off the crowd) was the only entertaining thing that happened.

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

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