A pair of UFC 143's preliminary bouts have been relegated to the Facebook undercard.
Confirmed by UFC officials, welterweights Dan Stittgen vs. Stephen Thompson and middleweights Rafael Natal vs. Michael Kuiper will be streamed live on the popular social networking site. Fight fans can catch the action for free by simply "liking" the UFC's Facebook page.
A 31-year-old prospect out of Midwest Training Center, Stittgen (7-1) enters the UFC after capping a three-fight win streak with a decision win over Mark Stoddard in October. Ironically, Stittgen's only loss came to the man he replaced at UFC 143, Justin Edwards, via a 37-second guillotine in early-2010.
Likewise, Thompson (5-0), an undefeated prospect out of Simpsonville, South Carolina, strides into the UFC after just two years on the regional circuit. Affectionately known as "Wonderboy," the Pitch Black MMA product carries three stoppage wins and last appeared in October, defeating Patrick Mandio via unanimous decision.
Meanwhile, Natal (13-3-1), a native Brazilian with a blackbelt in Jiu-Jitsu, most recently tasted the sweet fruits of Octagon success after two swings-and-misses with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Paul Bradley. Previously "Sapo" battled his way to a loss against Rich Attonito and a majority draw with Jesse Bongfeldt.
Kuiper (11-0), a black belt Judoka out of the Netherlands, kicked off his career in impressive fashion, roaring to seven straight victories in less than ten months. Since then the youngster has tacked on four more, including three first-round finishes, to pave his way into the UFC.
UFC 143 fight card:
Main card (pay-per-view):
Interim Welterweight Championship: Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit
Heavyweight: Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum
Welterweight: Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce
Bantamweight: Scott Jorgensen vs. Renan Barao
Middleweight: Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks