As long as Georges St-Pierre reigns over the UFC welterweight division, it’s highly unlikely that Josh Koscheck will get another shot at that title. However, that doesn’t change the facts that Koscheck is easily one of the best fighters in the division and is still capable of defeating most any top ten opponent.
So, that leaves the now former American Kickboxing Academy representative holding a gatekeeper’s position: sussing out the contenders from the mid and lower level competitors – at least until someone supplants GSP at the top, or the French-Canadian suffers another serious knee injury and retires.
As part of that role, Koscheck’s next assignment comes in the form of Johny Hendricks, a decorated collegiate wrestler on a three-fight winning streak that includes an emphatic knockout victory over Koscheck’s friend and training partner Jon Fitch.
The two are set to do battle this Saturday, May 5, in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 3: Diaz vs. Miller. In a rare occurrence these days, oddsmakers (like the crew at Bovada) have Koscheck listed as the odds-on underdog at -105 to Hendricks’ -125. Not a wide margin, but a statement nonetheless.
The close line makes sense, as these two look remarkably similar on paper. Both were four-time NCAA Division 1 All-Americans, Koscheck for Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and Hendricks for Oklahoma State University. Koscheck won one national championship (at 174lbs) and Hendricks won two (at 165lbs). Both men have adapted their wrestling well to MMA and have developed into competent strikers with knockout power. Out of thirteen fights (twelve wins), Hendricks has earned seven wins by knockout or TKO; out of twenty-two fights (seventeen wins), Koscheck has earned five wins by KO or TKO.
UFC on Fox 3 will take place from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.