Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks Booked For FOX Show
UFC president Dana White announced the news just moments ago.
UFC on FOX 3 is set to take place in New Jersey from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford on May 5. In the main event lightweights Nate Diaz and Jim Miller will throw down in a five-round non-title fight.
Hendricks last saw action against Koscheck’s former teammate John Fitch. He was able to upset the longtime number two ranked welterweight with a flash knock out in the very first minute of the first round of action.
Koscheck took to UFC 143 in a hard fought decision win against Mike Pierce in his more recent outing. The win was his second straight since losing a bid for the UFC’s title against GSP.
How do you break this fight down? I’ve been thinking about this one since the fight was announced, so forgive my delay in getting this out.
It’s like old school clone vs. new school clone, two D1 wrestlers with heavy hands and knock out power. The one difference between the two is in levels of experience.
Hendricks has a very slightly better credential in the amateur wrestling world, the four-time NCAA D1 all American holds two national wrestling titles with OSU. Koscheck was also a four-time NCAA D1 all American and he was able to capture one national title while with Edinboro U. (I mean, I’m really pulling at straws to give Hendricks the edge in this arena, its real close.)
When they square off on the FOX 3 card it will not be in a wrestling match and because of that Koscheck does take the edge in experience. He is the former number-one contender and the long ranked top 5 welterweight.
He has made a career out of taking out top welterweights the likes of Chris Lytle, Anthony Johnson, Diego Sanchez and Paul Daley to name a few. Outside of a fluke KO loss to Paulo Thiago, a poorly executed match against Thiago Alves and two decision losses to champion Georges St. Pierre, Koscheck has had a really good run for the past five-years with the promotion.
Hendricks is still relatively young in the sport. He burst onto the UFC stage by upsetting Amir Sadollah and has looked virtually unstoppable ever since. His only loss came way of a 2010 matchup with Rick Story and he is just coming off of a 12 second knockout over the long-time number 2 ranked Jon Fitch.
To play a little devil’s advocate, Fitch was coming in off surgery and a long layoff and rust more than likely played a factor. Not taking anything away from Hendricks, just trying to put the credibility of the win into perspective for the purpose of choosing a winner.
I think based on their histories Hendricks has a shot at winning this fight. If his last fight showed us anything it’s that he has a chance to beat anyone on any given night. But am I ready to call him the next big thing in the UFC”s welterweight division? No, I am not.
If Hendricks can get past Koscheck then I will eat my words because that will mean that Johny has officially arrived as a top 5-3 ranked welterweight. But in my eyes he still has more to prove.
The fight is close, as I keep emphasizing, but the edge has to be given to Koscheck via three-round decision.