UFC welterweight Josh Koscheck has a big fight coming up this weekend against rising star Anthony "Rumble" Johnson. In fact, the odds on the fight are pretty even the last time I checked. Josh Koscheck gave his thoughts on the match up, and what the fans can expect at the Keep Punching blog:
"I think this is a good fight for the fans because you guys gotta know this fight isn't going to the scorecards like the last couple of fights have been in the UFC with (Lyoto Machida-Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua at UFC) 104 and the Randy Couture-Brandon Vera controversy (at UFC 105). This fight isn't going to the judges' scorecards. I can guarantee you that.
I didn't know that Johnson has been to Koscheck's gym at AKA before to train. Apparently, they have trained together in the past, but Koscheck was quick to close the door on how those sparring sessions went:
On how you deal with a big-time puncher like Johnson:
"Big-time puncher? Those types of guys with long reach and big power, my plan is to stay on the inside and stay away from his punching power. I've trained with him before. He's been at AKA Gym before. I know a lot about him. My roommate, Josh Thomson, trained him, so I'm not really concerned too much about this fight. I'm just going to go in and do what I gotta do and that's get a victory.
"I've sparred with him and grappled with him and, for me, it's just another day in the gym."
On how those sparring and grappling sessions went with Johnson two years ago at American Kickboxing Academy:
"We'll keep that personal, right now. It's been a while, but he hasn't changed as a fighter. He's still the same fighter. I can guarantee you that."
Then the most important thing:
On if he plans to stand and trade with a striker like Johnson:
"There's always a disadvantage standing in front of somebody and trading punches. This is mixed martial arts and we're wearing 4-ounce gloves. With boxing gloves on, I'd stand in front of him all day long and take five or six punches. But with MMA you can only afford to take one or two and that's about it. For me, Ijust gotta use my head movement and just be a smart fighter."
Now, it just depends on what being a smart fighter means to Koscheck. If it's the same strategy he emplored against Thiago Alves. It could be a short night for him. If he can use his wrestling to wear Johnson down, I can see him winning this fight. I'm pumped to see this one.