Koscheck steals the night
Story by Andreas Hale
If Josh Koscheck wanted to make a statement to Dana White and the rest of the welterweight division regarding who should be next in line to face Georges St. Pierre, his choke-out victory against Anthony Johnson made that statement in THX surround sound.
Not only did he earn a $70k bonus for “Submission of the Night” honors with his resounding RNC that wrapped up his victory at 4:47 in the 2nd round, but he also took home another $70k for “Fight of the Night.”
Dana White gushed over The Ultimate Fighter season 1 welterweight and made it no secret that he was impressed with Koscheck.
“Koscheck and I have butted heads a lot behind the scenes,” White said. “I have got to tell you that tonight I was blown away by his performance.”
It was a foul laden fight that saw eye pokes exchanged but was still an action packed fight that saw both fighters swinging for the fences early. Many said that Koscheck would be making a mistake if he chose to stand in trade with Johnson, but the polarizing 170 pounder surprised everyone with his successful fight strategy.
“You know what Koscheck could have done?” White asked. “He took a couple of big punches right at the beginning of the round and he could have went for the takedown, pushed him up against the cage, stall and rough him up. You see that all the time. He didn’t. He stood in the middle of the Octagon and tried to bang with him. When they got down to the ground, he went for the submission. I was blown away by his performance tonight.”
To say Koscheck was impressive would be an understatement. The American Kickboxing Academy fighter took on a devastating striker and showed that he could take everything Johnson had before weathering the initial storm and deconstructing “Rumble” in the second round.
“He did crack me with a couple of shots but I just had to keep coming and stay composed,” Koscheck reflected. “I went in for the kill after I got him down. After the second time I took him down, I knew he was going to give up. My goal was to weather the storm in the first round, use a little more wrestling in the second round, get him down, drop some elbows, get him to roll over and choke him out.”
After the fight, Koscheck made it no secret that he’s not enthralled with the fact that Dan Hardy is getting the next shot at GSP after his victory against Mike Swick at UFC 105. But as impressive as Koscheck looked, White made it clear that Dan Hardy would get the next shot at St. Pierre.
Regardless, Koscheck is ready to get back in the Octagon as early as January.
“I love to fight and I’m healthy,” an unmarked Koscheck said. “They know I love to fight so hopefully in 2010 – if I’m not fighting St. Pierre next – I’ll fight every month.”
The idea may sound insane but for it makes all the sense in the world for Koscheck.
“It’s better than being in the gym. I’d rather be out here entertaining you guys and fighting.”