Josh Koscheck edged Mike Pierce for a split decision win on Saturday at UFC 143 in Las Vegas to remain in the hunt for another shot at the welterweight title.
Koscheck improves to 17-5 after winning five of his last six fights, with his only loss coming to welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, while Pierce falls to 13-5 after losing 2 of his last 3 trips to the Octagon.
MMAFrenzy.com’s play-by-play of Koscheck vs. Pierce by Chris Leslie is below:
Round 1 – Herb Dean is our referee and we are underway. Pierce reaches to touch gloves but a peeved Kos declines. Pierce with a single but Kos defends and we are against the cage. Short knees and punches by both fighters against the cage. Dean implores the fighters for more action but Pierce declines. Kos works free but Pierce with a good uppercut. Pierce with a wild combo to a takedown attempt but is blocked again. Kos uses the over/under tie to get Pierce to the fence. Nice combo as the fighters break by Kos. Nice jab by Kos. Combo by Kos gets countered by a right by Pierce that staggers Kos briefly but Pierce gets rocked advancing and both fighters back away for a minute. Nice kick by Kos. Combo by Pierce is answered by a stiff shot by Kos. Pierce goes for another single but Kos uses the whizzer to get his leg back. Very close round that’s tough to score. Kos seemed more accurate in the round however. MMAFrenzy gives a slight advantage to Kos 10-9.
Round 2 – Right hand by Pierce lands and he looks for yet another takedown to start the action. Kos again whizzers the arm of Pierce and get’s his leg free. Kos reverses Pierce along the cage but as the fighters break Pierce with a nice uppercut. Left hook misses by Kos, Pierce with a nice jab. Kos is loading up the right hand. Pierce was cut by an accidental headbutt on the side of his head and he’s bleeding badly but it’s not affecting his vision. Pierce with another takedown attempt. Dean breaks the action to warn Kos about open hand strikes. Kos measures up Pierce and then lands an easy double. Pierce is tangled against the cage but Kos can’t advance without giving up his advantage. Kos does advance and lands a powerful strike before Pierce escapes as the round ends. Dean again warns Kos about measuring Pierce up with the open hand jab feints. MMAFrenzy scores the round 10-9 Kos.
Round 3 – Pierce combo gets answered nicely by Kos. Kos is clearly being affected by the warning by Dean. Pierce gets a brief takedown but Kos quickly works back and reverses Pierce against the cage. Nice elbow by Kos as the clinch breaks. Nice combo by Kos and he’s picking up the pace. Pierce with a nice knee in the clinch. Nice jab by Pierce. Lead left hook by Pierce lands and Kos with a single leg. Pierce uses the whizzer and cage to stay up though. Dean is being very impatient with the fighters tonight and breaks up the clinch. Kos lands an accidental eye poke and Dean gives him a final warning. Nice combo by Kos. Pierce with a bad takedown attempt. Kos answers with beautiful double with :25 left. Pierce working a switch but gives up his back as he stands. Spinning back elbow lands by Pierce as the round ends. MMAFrenzy scores the round 10-9 Pierce but the fight goes to Kos (29-28).
Josh Koscheck defeats Mike Pierce via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Pictured: Josh Koscheck