UFC 143 Preview: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce

Josh KoscheckMMAFrenzy’s coverage of Saturday’s main card continues with our preview of a welterweight battle between Josh Koscheck and Mike Pierce. Stay tuned to MMAFrenzy as we break down each fight on the main card and conclude with the main event interim welterweight championship bout between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit.

Keys for Josh Koscheck (Bryan Robison)-
Koscheck really feels he is wasting his time fighting Pierce on Saturday. With how he talks, he is going to develop plenty of enemies, and he has seemingly done that with Pierce. Now he sees himself pitted against someone that would love nothing more than to shut him up.

Fortunately for Koscheck, he is just as good or better than Pierce in nearly every category. This will allow him to decide where the fight goes.
However, the last time he fought someone that he felt did not deserve to be fighting him was Paulo Thiago at UFC 95, and he got knocked out by Thiago.

Even with his brashness, he must not overlook the confident Pierce, as he was in a similar situation at UFC 107, taking on Koscheck’s teammate, Jon Fitch. In that fight, Pierce was getting the better of Fitch throughout the third round, but still lost the decision. For Koscheck, he will likely keep the fight standing, as that is his biggest advantage over Pierce. With a significant advantage in speed and accuracy, look for Koscheck to pepper Pierce with many quick jabs and hooks, hoping to frustrate Pierce. From there, he can implement any gameplan he wants.

Keys for Mike Pierce (Chris Leslie)-
Pierce is coming into this fight with Josh Koscheck with a rather large gap in skill in the same areas he is strong in. Pierce is a decent MMA boxer but Kos has better striking. Pierce is a collegiate wrestler but Kos is an NCAA champion wrestler. Pierce has someone who often trash talks for him but Kos needs no help talking trash. It goes on…

If there is one weakness that Kos has it is that he occasionally has mental lapses in fights and appears to look past opponents. While GSP was just that much better than him there have been occasions where Kos has fought below his level for whatever reason.
Pierce is that kind of fight for Kos. It is a fight that, on paper, should be a dominant win for Kos. However, if Pierce can pressure early and dictate the pace of the fight, he could come away with a victory. If Pierce can “stick and move” effectively with combos and not just single wild punches, he has a chance to frustrate Kos. If Kos becomes frustrated, Pierce may be able to capitalize by taking advantage of the mistakes made by Kos. If he lets Kos dictate the pace and fights “not to lose” rather than fighting to win, it could be a long 15 minutes for Pierce.

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