Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 | 3:36 a.m.
Las Vegas Sun boxing/MMA writer Brett Okamoto talks with fellow sports writer Ryan Greene and videographer Christine Killimayer about what they thought of the fights at UFC 106 at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Saturday.
- Complete Coverage: UFC 106
- UFC 106 predictions
- Breaking down UFC 106: Tito Ortiz v. Forrest Griffin
- Video: UFC 106 pre-fight press conference
- Forrest Griffin: Life's good, I'm very happy with life in general
- Tito Ortiz ready to return to where he belongs
- Unlike last fight, Anthony Johnson should have no weight problem
- Josh Koscheck ready and willing for showdown with Johnson
- Amir Sadollah, Phil Baroni in similar situations leading up to fight
Following his highlight-reel finish of Anthony Johnson by a second-round submission, Josh Koscheck got on the microphone and argued he should be next to receive the next title shot at welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre.
Problem: The UFC had already announced that Dan Hardy would be the next challenge to St. Pierre’s throne.
Can’t blame a guy for trying.
“I had thought about doing it before I got out there,” said Koscheck, on his decision to call out Hardy who was sitting ringside. “But obviously the UFC has plans for him to fight St. Pierre and I’m not concerned with that.
“A title shot for me isn’t going to happen so I’m just going to keep fighting.”
Hardy was less than cordial in his responses to Koscheck’s outburst. Hardy dismissed the fighter as being inconsistent and made crying gestures towards the Octagon while he plead his case.
“The thing about Josh Koscheck is that he’s got a lot of potential but he’s inconsistent,” Hardy said. “He’s kind of like a (expletive) that won’t flush away. He’ll lose a fight and then come back. I guess I don’t mind, I never get sick of seeing that guy get punched in the face.”
Hardy, who has never been known to back down from a bit of trash-talk, was likely just defending what’s his — a title shot that he earned by defeating all four opponents he’s faced in the UFC.
While the Brit’s description of Koscheck was maybe a little harsh, he may have a point.
Prior to Saturday, Koscheck had lost two of his last four fights and has already lost to St. Pierre once in his career.
Koscheck actually is quick to admit this and says that his current focus is improving his striking skills while fighting as much as the UFC will allow him.
“Right now, I’m concerned with getting back into the gym and improving,” Koscheck said. “If I’m not fighting St. Pierre, then let’s line them up. I already told (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva I want 10-to-12 fights next year.
“I’d rather be out there entertaining than in the gym. Hopefully I can get on a five or six-fight win streak and they’ll think I’m ready for the title.”
With the kind of night Koscheck had on Saturday, it’s no wonder he’s ready to fight as much as possible.
Despite an unfortunate three breaks in the action due to inadvertent eye pokes, Koscheck’s fight with Johnson earned him $70,000 bonuses each with Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night honors.
UFC president Dana White, who has clashed with Koscheck on matters outside of the Octagon before, said he was most impressed with Koscheck’s willingness to continue fighting and push the tempo after getting poked in the eye the first time.
“There was clearly an eye poke. After Johnson threw the illegal knee you could see on the replay the knee missed but Johnson’s pinkie went into his eye,” White said. “When the doctor came out to look, Koscheck could barely keep his eye open but he said, ‘I want to fight.’
“He got his eye to where he could continue and as soon as the fight started, he went after it and started dominating the round.”
According to Koscheck, there are only about two or three welterweights that stand a decent chance at taking St. Pierre’s belt.
Although Koscheck admitted to liking to Hardy’s style of fighting and energetic approach, he didn’t include the Brit’s name as a likely threat to knock off the champion.
After watching Saturday’s fight, Hardy said that maybe it wasn’t a bad thing that Koscheck called for him.
It might just be a little bit too soon.
“Hopefully I’ll get to fight Koscheck in the future,” he said. “And it will be a title defense when I’m doing it.”
Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or firstname.lastname@example.org.