Josh Koscheck. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Josh Koscheck bounced back from a disappointing decision loss to Thiago Alves in October by knocking out Japanese welterweight sensation Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the featured attraction of the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops” card in Fayetteville, North Carolina last night.
The evening was focused on the UFC’s attempts to raise money for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which will go towards building a state-of-the-art facility that will help soldiers that have suffered tramuatic brain injuries. Following his stoppage of Yoshida, Koscheck asked those watching around the world what else it would take for them to make a small donation towards the cause.
“If that wasn’t worth $5 bucks from every UFC fan, I don’t know what else I can do,” Koscheck said.
After a couple of minutes of exchanging punches and kicks on the feet, Koscheck (12-3), a former standout collegiate wrestler, blasted Yoshida (10-3) with a straight right hand that sent the Japanese veteran bouncing off the cage. With his opponent already nearly unconscious, Koscheck followed up with another right that sent Yoshida to the mat out cold.
“It was a nice straight right hand,” said Koscheck. “I knew that he was looking for the overhand right a lot, so I just kinda focused on throwing straight punches.”
The ‘KO’ was Koscheck’s first since putting fellow “Ultimate Fighter” season one cast member Chris Sanford to sleep during a preliminary bout at “The Ultimate Fighter Finale” in April 2005.
The California native finishes his current UFC contract with a bang, and his future with the organization remains uncertain as some rumors are suggesting that the American Kickboxing Academy product may be looking to fight elsewhere due to a rift between the UFC and his management team concerning a lifetime image rights contract for the new UFC video game set to be released next year.
Swick, Cantwell Impress on Undercard
The night’s co-main event saw Mike Swick revert back to his infamous ways of finishing fights early as he needed only 33 seconds to dispose of Canadian journeyman Jonathan Goulet in a bad-blood clash between the two.
Swick and Goulet were originally set to meet at a “UFC Fight Night” event last year, but Swick was forced to withdraw from the bout due to injury, prompting Goulet to state that Swick was afraid to fight him and was running away from a fight with him.
However it was Swick who had the last laugh on Wednesday night. After an initial feeling-out period, Swick (13-2) dropped Goulet (22-10) with a quick right and followed up with a furious flurry on the downed Canadian. Goulet momentarily looked as if he may have survived the flurry after grabbing Swick’s leg and working for a takedown, but Swick followed up with another series of punches that left Goulet unconscious on the mat.
After the fight, Swick stated that his previous lackluster performances in his new weight class were attributed to a lingering injury to his right arm that has now fully healed.
“I’m healthy now,” Swick said. “I had an injury. My right arm wasn’t where it should have been. Now I have my right arm back. I’m in great shape and I feel really confident right now.”
Former WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell picked up his first UFC win after transitioning over from the UFC’s sister organization, breaking the arm of newcomer Razak Al-Hussan with an armbar in the first round.
It was an Al-Hussan, a relative newcomer to mixed martial arts with only six professional bouts under his belt prior to his fight with Cantwell, that pressed the action early and often, consistently stalking Cantwell and using Taekwondo-style kicks to create distance. However Cantwell (7-1) was eventually able to take Al-Hussan (6-1) down to the canvas, where he locked in a deep armbar that Al-Hussan refused to submit to, ultimately resulting in his arm breaking and referee Mario Yamasaki stopping the match.
“That was so sweet,” Cantwell said of his fight-ending submission. “I’ve been waiting so long to do that, you have no idea. I’m surprised that the dude didn’t tap.”
Also victorious on the undercard was “Ultimate Fighter” season seven alumnus Tim Credeur (11-2), who showed off his ever-evolving striking game and earned a TKO win over Nate Loughran (9-1), who retired on his stool before the start of the third round. Former IFL standout Jim Miller (13-1), who subbed in for fellow East Coast product Frankie Edgar as a late replacement last week, grinded out a hard-fought unanimous decision over Matt Wiman (10-4) in the first televised fight on Spike TV.
Justin McCully def. Eddie Sanchez - Unanimous Decision
Dale Hartt def. Corey Hill - TKO (Broken Leg)
Ben Saunders def. Brandon Wolff - TKO (Strikes)
Steve Bruno def. Johnny Rees - Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Luigi Fioravanti def. Brodie Farber - Unanimous Decision
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