It is hard to believe Josh Koscheck (12-4,10-4 UFC) has been in the UFC for four whole years, but he has. His first fight in the organization was against Chris Sanford in April ’05 at the original Ultimate Fighter Finale. In fact all but two of Koscheck’s professional fights have been in the UFC.
The only names he had lost to were names everyone is familiar with, big names, Fickett, St. Pierre, Alves. Koscheck has been in there with the toughest guys in the world, so when he was matched up with the unknown Paulo Thiago (11-0) at UFC 95, who was making his UFC debut, Koscheck was none too worried.
Thiago was a heavy under-dog and no one but gamblers were giving him a chance. Koscheck says he trained for him like he was the “number one fighter in the weight class.” However, deep down, it is quite possible Koscheck was taking him lightly and may have overlooked the Brazilian. Of course, that is speculation and something Koscheck would most likely deny.
Whether Koscheck was looking past him or if he is just that good, Paulo Thiago knocked out the UFC veteran just three and a half minutes into round one. It was more of a ‘flash KO’ and Koscheck protested after the bout that the referee stopped the fight too early. In a recent statement on his website, Koscheck had this to say about the stoppage:
YES, I would have liked to see the ref let the fight go on a little bit more because we are all fighters and we fight until the end. Yes, I got hit hard, but felt as though I could have recovered if I had the chance. As for next time, my message to all the ref’s would be to, please let the fight go until I’m put out to sleep. . . Just so I don’t have the thought of what if, going through my mind and probably the minds of all of you, my fans.
So how does a professional fighter deal with something like this? The average person would most likely sit around and lick their wounds thinking of what could have been or should have been. Then again most people are not professional mixed martial arts fighters making their living fighting monsters inside a cage.
The game has it’s ups and downs and I have had my fair share of both. I only know to do one thing and it’s what I have been doing from day one in competitions since I was a kid. . . refocus my life and training and go back to the drawing board and train for my next fight. I have 13 weeks of training camp for my next fight May 23rd at UFC 98 in Las Vegas.
At least Koscheck can take a nice break after this last fight, right? You know, he probably deserves that after three fights in about ninety days, maybe he can go to the Bahamas and soak up the sun for a few weeks, right? WRONG. Actually, the blonde bomber is recuperating for only a week and then at 11:30 am Monday morning, March 2nd, it is back to the grindstone.
No opponent has yet been named for his UFC 98 fight, but Koscheck says he hopes it is someone at the top of his division and if anyone cares to step up, he is ready. Although it is not for a title, Koscheck’s next bout could very well be the most important fight of his career thus far.