Ryan Remiorz / AP
Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010 | 11 p.m.
In the months leading up to his welterweight title fight against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124, Josh Koscheck talked about landing an eye-opening upset victory.
His vision was blurred — literally.
Pierre used a series of jabs to give Koscheck a swollen-shut right eye and kept the championship belt in a unanimous decision victory Saturday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Each of the judges gave all five rounds — a comfortable 50-45 margin — to St. Pierre.
“At the end, I saw his eye was closed and I tried to go with hooks to take him out,” St. Pierre said in the octagon moments after the fight. “But it didn’t work out. I didn’t reach my goal tonight. My goal was to knock him out, but he’s very tough.”
The pro-St. Pierre crowd in his hometown didn’t seem to mind. The 23,000 fans were hostile toward Koscheck all night, often hurling profane chants.
They had their reasons. After Koscheck defeated Paul Daley in Montreal in May, he taunted the crowd by telling them he would next take down their beloved St. Pierre.
The trash talk only intensified as the fight neared. But St. Pierre made sure there was nothing left to say.
He came out and immediately bloodied Koscheck’s eye and set the pace for the fight. St. Pierre’s recent work with boxing trainer extraordinaire Freddie Roach clearly paid off as his stand-up game was at its best.
“I’m a straight puncher, so the issue was keeping him to the outside,” St. Pierre said. “If he came hard at me, I had to get away.”
St. Pierre largely excelled at avoiding Koscheck’s takedown attempts. Koscheck did get him on the ground for a 30-second stretch at the end of the first round but couldn’t administer any damage.
Koscheck embraced St. Pierre after the bout and put the unfriendly words behind him.
“He had a great plan and he executed it,” Koscheck said. “It shows why he’s the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world.”
UFC 124’s co-main event featured a similar situation to the St. Pierre vs. Koscheck matchup. One of the fighters did all the talking, while the other came out on top.
Sean McCorckle hyped up his heavyweight matchup with Stefan Struve by hurling all kinds of insults, mainly through his twitter account. But Struve scored a technical knockout two minutes into the fight.
“He can dress it up all he wants, but our job is in the octagon,” Struve said.
And no one is better in the octagon than St. Pierre, who proved it once again Saturday night. He is now 21-2 in his career and has won eight straight contests.
“I’m not making any excuses,” Koscheck said. “GSP is a true champion.”
Other Main Card Results
Thiago Alves defeated John Howard by unanimous decision
Mac Danzig defeated Joe Stevenson by knockout at 1:54 in the first round
Jim Miller defeated Charles Oliveira by submission at 1:59 in the first round