Following every UFC and Strikeforce event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, which took place on Feb. 4 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.

Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger

In the main event of UFC 143, “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit was crowned the interim welterweight champion with a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz.

Condit is now set to face Georges St-Pierre in the future where the belts will be unified, but St-Pierre is recovering from knee surgery and won’t be able to compete until the end of the year.

Condit’s manager, Malki Kawa, stated in an interview that he would prefer Condit to take another fight before taking on St-Pierre, and that will likely happen to avoid a long layoff.

With Condit not waiting for his title shot, this opens the door for other contenders in the welterweight division, including a winner of five straight bouts, Jake Ellenberger.

Jake Ellenberger (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Ellenberger and Condit have squared off once before in 2009, where Condit won the fight by split decision. But that bout was the first of Ellenberger’s UFC career and he has improved greatly since then. When looking at the rankings in the division, Ellenberger is just below Condit and will get a title shot of his own if he keeps winning big fights.

But before Condit-Ellenberger II is discussed, Ellenberger will have to take out Diego Sanchez on Feb. 15. The two welterweights will meet in the headlining bout of the first event to be aired on Fuel TV.

A lot has happened in the welterweight division, but with an interim champion crowned and many talented up-and-comers, this weight class has many fighters that are capable of dethroning the reigning champion GSP.

Fabricio Werdum vs. Frank Mir

Fabricio Werdum returned to the Octagon on Saturday and defeated Roy Nelson by unanimous decision. The win was crucial for the former Strikeforce heavyweight and he is now in the mix for a possible title shot with the UFC.

With one former Strikeforce fighter already earning a title shot (Alistair Overeem), Werdum can do the same if he earns another win over a top contender.

One contender that is near the top of the rankings is Frank Mir, a former UFC heavyweight title holder. Mir has won three consecutive fights, with one more putting him in line for another chance to win the belt.

But first, he will have to take out another talented fighter and Werdum is certainly talented.

With a decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu background, Werdum is arguably the most skilled grappler in the heavyweight division. But in his bout with Nelson, “Vai Cavalo” decided to stand and strike with Nelson. Werdum displayed the best stand-up game of his career and outpointed Nelson on the judges’ scorecards.

But we can’t forget about the ground game of Mir. Mir earned submission of the year honors with his kimura over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 140.

Werdum-Mir would be an excellent match-up to make due to the fact that both men have evenly matched ground games to go along with solid boxing and Muay Thai. In the future, fans are going to witness one of these two men challenging for the belt.

Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks

Even if it was by split decision, Josh Koscheck managed to pick up a win against a tough Mike Pierce on the main card. It was by no means the best performance by The Ultimate Fighter season one alum, but a win is a win and Koscheck will continue working his way back to the top of the 170-pound division.

With so much going on in the welterweight division, “Kos” will have to sit back and take crucial fights until an opening is there. Right now, Johny Hendricks appears to be a possible opponent.

A case could be made for many guys to fight Koscheck next, but Hendricks my selection for a couple of reasons.

Hendricks proved in his last fight that he is for real by knocking out Jon Fitch in just 12 seconds. “Big Rig” is now considered a huge threat in the division and should be given a quality opponent like Koscheck.

When looking at the styles of both men, they are similar in the way they fight. Hendricks has loads of power in his hands, but so does Koscheck, with knockout wins over veterans Frank Trigg and Matt Hughes. Not only are they capable of delivering shots with fists, but are also two of the best wrestlers in the division. At the collegiate level, Koscheck and Hendricks were as good as they come and have carried those skills over to MMA perfectly.

This would be a big fight for the UFC to make, as Hendricks has gained many news fans. And then there’s Koscheck, who is one of the most hated guys in the UFC. These two would hype up the fight and put on a great show for fans.

Renan Barao vs. Miguel Torres/Michael McDonald winner

A star is on the rise in the bantamweight division and his name is Renan Barao. The 25-year-old Brazilian hasn’t lost a fight since dropping his MMA debut in 2005 and has gone on to win 27 straight.

The most recent win came at UFC 143 where Barao outpointed former top contender Scott Jorgensen to earn a unanimous decision.

The sky is the limit for Barao and he could easily fight the winner of Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber for the belt, but that fight won’t happen for a while and I expect Barao to fight one more time before getting his title shot.

A couple of top bantamweights are scheduled to face off at UFC 145, as Miguel Torres returns to the Octagon to challenge rising 21-year-old Michael McDonald.

My hunch is that the winner of that bout will go on to fight Barao with the victor getting a shot at facing the winner of Cruz-Faber.

If it weren’t for bad timing, Barao could be announced as the next guy to fight for the belt and wait for his title shot. However, with Cruz and Faber being coaches on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter, Barao should fight either McDonald or Torres before he gets his hands on the champion.

Ed Herman vs. Court McGee/Constantinos Philippou winner

In the opening bout of the main card, Ed “Short Fuse” Herman picked up his third win in a row with a second-round submission of Clifford Starks.

Herman has turned his career around and is now rising quickly in the division. He should be given another quality opponent, but not a top-10 guy just yet.

One fight in the middleweight division that is approaching is Court McGee against Constantinos Philippou. The two are slated to fight at UFC on FX 2 on March 3. Both men are on winning streaks of their own and it would be logical for the winner to fight Herman.

Herman is known for his submission game for the most part, but is well-rounded fighting anywhere in the cage. McGee and Philippou are searching for the same thing as Herman: to fight the best the UFC has to offer. Key fights in the middleweight division are coming up, so be sure to follow all three of these guys.

Dustin Poirier vs. Chan Sung Jung

A notable fighter that took home a win in the preliminary portion of UFC 143 was Dustin Poirier, who defeated Max Holloway by triangle-armbar submission in the opening round.

“The Diamond” is one of the top 10 featherweights in the world and is displaying his skills more and more every time he steps foot inside the Octagon.

Another fighter that is on the rise is “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung.

Jung knocked out Mark Hominick in under 10 seconds in his last outing and is also considered a top-10 featherweight.

If Poirier and Jung are matched up, that will be an explosive fight. Both men come out quickly looking for the finish and it would be a war. The winner of that fight will be on course for a future title shot against Jose Aldo.

Top Photo: Carlos Condit (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.