A pivotal welterweight clash with title implications is apparently set for the UFC's third FOX show in May as one-time title challenger Josh Koscheck will collide with fellow wrestler Johny Hendricks, who is coming off of a shocking 12-second KO of Jon Fitch in December.
UFC President Dana White announced the bout via Twitter this evening. The bout will likely be part of the televised main card on FOX. The event is scheduled to be headlined by another title eliminator featuring lightweights Jim Miller and Nate Diaz.
Koscheck is fresh off of a narrow split decision win over Mike Pierce at UFC 143 last weekend. It was a lackluster performance by Koscheck, who struggled with Pierce's surprising striking and cage control. Prior to Hendricks' career-best win over Fitch, the Team Takedown member won eight of nine fights under the Zuffa banner, his lone loss a decision to Rick Story in December of 2010.
In another unfortunate turn of events regarding Georges St. Pierre, the longtime UFC welterweight champion has suffered a torn ACL and will be sidelined for nearly a year.
UFC President Dana White announced the news early Tuesday. Due to St. Pierre's anticipated lengthy layoff, top contender and one-time Strikeforce welterweight title holder Nick Diaz will face former WEC champion Carlos Condit for the interim UFC welterweight belt at UFC 143 on February 4 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
St. Pierre was slated to face Diaz in a highly-awaited matchup at the event. A previously scheduled bout between St. Pierre and Diaz for this past October was scrapped after Diaz failed to show up to multiple pre-fight media requirements.
Be sure to checkout the premiere of "Countdown to UFC 135" which debuts tonight at 11 PM ET on Spike and profiles this weekend's UFC light heavyweight title bout between current champion Jon "Bones" Jones and former title holder Quinton "Rampage" Jackson as well as a pivotal welterweight bout between Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck.
— "There's no real issue with me and Hughes. It is just he said it numerous times he didn't want to fight any of us from AKA, my train[ing] team, and it is long overdue he fights one of us. Now I am going put Matt Hughes in his place. When he was on top, he wouldn't give any of us "kids" our shot at him. He never manned up. Now he's been forced to fight me and this is going to be so much fun."
Josh Koscheck discusses his return to action as a replacement opponent for Matt Hughes at UFC 135, which takes place on September 24 in Denver, Colorado with Sportsnet. ca.
The Daily Recap is a collection of news and notes from around the web that will be posted at the end of each day. Bout signings, injury news and much more can all be found here.
— Former UFC welterweight title contender Josh Koscheck has revealed that his first fight since falling to Georges St. Pierre last December will take place at UFC 139 at the HP Pavilion in his adopted hometown of San Jose, CA on November 19. The "Ultimate Fighter" product also stated that his return bout would likely take place at middleweight and that the idenity of his opponent should become available soon. [Twitter.com]
— Strikeforce women's star Gina Carano will reportedly attempt to return to action once again at a yet-to-be-announced Strikeforce show on December 17. Carano was slated to take on Sarah D'Alelio at Strikeforce's "Overeem vs. Werdum" event in June, but failed to receive medical clearance to compete. A reason for her removal remains unknown. [Wrestling Observer]
Nick Diaz. Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime Sports.
As always, reigning Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz had a lot on his mind just a week ahead of his scheduled showdown against Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos on January 29 in San Jose, CA.
During a conference call with the media today, Diaz touched on a number of topics and discussed his opponent, but the majority of the focus came from the ongoing saga between Diaz and rival Jason "Mayhem" Miller as another potential meeting between the two fell apart during talks last month.
"I wouldn't mind moving up [to middleweight]. I'd just like to get paid for it, you know?" Diaz said about a bout with Miller. "I don't like when I hear people say I didn't accept the fight Miller because I was too small. I never said anything about that. I said if I'm going to go off-track and screw with my whole season and it's going to screw with my whole year and screw with my capabilities fighting at 170, then I'm going to have to get paid in full."
Vitor Belfort. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
A win over Rich Franklin was expected to make Vitor Belfort an instant contender for Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight title. But according to UFC President Dana White, Belfort may have positioned himself as the leading candidate for Silva’s next title defense, even before Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt.
“You know, I think he might be ready now,” White said at last night’s UFC 103 post-fight press conference.
Vitor Belfort. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Vitor Belfort’s return to the UFC was a successful one as the former UFC light heavyweight champion decked former UFC middleweight king Rich Franklin with a series of punches that resulted in a first-round TKO win for the heavy-handed Brazilian in the main event of UFC 103 on Saturday night in Dallas, Texas.
Up until the ending sequence, the bout didn’t feature much action. Belfort (19-8) and Franklin (25-5) exchanged leg kicks and short jabs, but neither put together any offense of note that landed. Things completely changed however after Belfort clipped Franklin with an overhand left during an exchange.
We will be going live at 6:00 PM ET with live results of UFC 103: “Franklin vs. Belfort”, which will take place at a sold out American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The event’s televised main card will be broadcast live on pay-per-view starting at 10:00 PM ET. An additional hour of preliminary bouts will also be shown on Spike TV starting at 9:00 PM ET prior to that.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort headlines the event, returning to the UFC in a 195 lb catchweight bout against former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin. A heavyweight contenders clash between formidable strikers Mirko Cro Cop and Junior Dos Santos serves as the co-main event.
Brock Larson. Photo property of World Extreme Cagefighting.
Fresh off of his first-round win over UFC newcomer Jesse Sanders at last week’s UFC Fight Night 18 event, Minnesota native Brock Larson has reportedly been tapped to replace an injured Josh Koscheck against Team Quest product Chris Wilson at UFC 98 on May 23:
Just days after an injury suffered in training forced Josh Koscheck (12-4 MMA, 10-4 UFC) out of a UFC 98 bout with Chris Wilson (14-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC), the organization has apparently secured a replacement.
MMAjunkie.com has learned from sources close to the bout that recent WEC import Brock Larson (25-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has agreed to fill in for Koscheck at the event. Wilson has also made a verbal commitment to the matchup, though bout agreements have yet to be finalized.
UFC 98 is scheduled for May 23 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The Larson-Wilson matchup is an interesting one, at least in my mind. Both fighters are very good wrestlers, but aren’t great, and could therefore cancel each other out and force this fight to take place on the feet, where neither fighter has a distinct advantage.
Larson is riding a wave of momentum due to a four-fight winning streak and a cancelled WEC welterweight title shot is quickly turning into another run in his UFC return. A loss will likely force Wilson out of the UFC as well, so both fighters could turn in spirited performances in this one.