UFC News: Josh Koscheck vs. Paulo Thiago

Josh Koscheck

vs.

Paulo Thiago

 

 Kos

Nickname

   

5

MMA Blog Rank

NR 

170 Lbs.

Weight Class

170 Lbs.

14-3 (10-3 UFC)

Record

7-0 (0-0 UFC) 

The knock on UFC 95 was the lack of a main event.  Well, the same problem exists, but the UFC has beefed up the talent.  It looks like welterweight star Josh Koscheck will return to the octagon in London, England to face Brazilian Paulo Thiago.  Thiago will make his UFC debut. Thigo is undefeated and will be thrown into the deep waters against one of the best in the division. 

This is Koscheck’s last fight on his contract.  We have to wonder if he has re-signed or if he is done with the UFC after this fight following the dispute that arose between the UFC and The American Kickboxing Academy. 

I also have to wonder about this match up.  Koscheck has everything to lose in this fight.  I know very little about Paul Thiago, so it will be interesting to see.

Why Are U.K. Fans Upset With UFC 95?

If you look at UFC 95 on paper it is quick to see that it is not the best UFC card by a mile.  I have heard it said that U.K. fans are less than pleased with the card so far.  I understand their feelings.  However, I am not too upset because it airs free on SPIKE TV.  I would be hesitant to spend $44.00 on this card.  However, let me say this: UFC 95 is one fight away from being a dynamic card.  The problem with UFC 95 is a lack of a main event.  Also, for many in the U.K. it may be the absent Michael Bisping.  Diego Sanchez’s lightweight debut against Joe Stevenson may be interesting, but it is not main event interesting.  Both guys are super talented, but not main event talented.  Co-main event? Maybe.  So, my theory is that UFC 95 is a main event short of being a great card.  Imagine with me for a second that UFC 95 featured a main event with a big name fighter that is main event worthy.  Then the televised portion would follow with…

2. Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson

3. Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen

4. Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia

5. Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve or Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham

If they find a solid main event UFC 95 would stack up against any other card.  Here is the importance of this:  The UFC has openly seeking to go international.  Their largest fan bases outside the U.S. are in Canada and the U.K.  They do not want to disappoint those fans.  Reward them for their loyalty.  Find a good main event.  See if you cannot bribe Rashad Evans to fight Quinton Jackson here.  See if you cannot get a Randy Couture vs. Nogueira fight chalked up.  Bump Liddell up from UFC 96.  Whatever it takes.  Dana White and Joe Silva must realize that the U.K. is the gateway to the European market.  Give them a better main event that Sanchez vs. Stevenson.  This is a better card than some will credit it for being, but it does lack a main event.  You can breeze by with a solid main event and a less than solid rest of the card, but a solid rest of the card without a solid main event may be tough to sell.

UFC News: Demian Maia vs. Chael Sonnen Set For UFC 95

Okay, the UFC 95 card sucks royally (that may be a pun seeing as how the card is in London) but, at least there will be a few good fights.  One of those fights that is exciting is going to be a middleweight match up between Demian Maia and Chael Sonnen.  Both of these names were tossed around as possible opponents for Anderson Silva.  The winner of this fight would surely be considered for a title shot.  The problem is the UFC suddenly thickened things a top the 185 lb. division.  It is strongly rumored that Thales Leites will leap frog numerous contenders and get a title shot.  Meanwhile, Dana White has pretty much assured that Yushin Okami will get a title shot.  That makes a contender and one in waiting.  We figure that this summer the two TUF 9 coaches will fight, witht the winner getting a title crack by year end.  Therefore if Silva fights 4 times in 2009, we know his opponents.  They will probably be: Thales Leites, Yushin Okami, The winner of the Sonnen vs. Maia fight, and the winner of the Bisping vs. TUF 9 coach. 

    Anyways as for the Sonnen-Maia fight that is a good one.  Maia is incredible on the ground.  Sonnen comes over from the WEC with a great wrestling pedigree and improving stand up.  Sonnen surely will want to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing.  If he takes it to the ground at any time he is on very dangerous ground even when he is on top.

UFC News: Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia at UFC 95

Nate “The Great” Marquardt appears to have lost his bid to be an Ultimate Fighter coach, but he does appear to still be in the title picture.  He will fight next at UFC 95 against Wilson Gouveia.  Gouviea is coming off of an impressive TKO win over Jason MacDonald at the Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale.  However, Gouveia failed to make weight.  He is stiking around at 185 and that win should have catapolted him up the division. 

This could be a great match between two very well roudned fighters who are both coming off of big wins.  The winner will certainly move towards the top tier of the division.

UFC News: Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson at UFC 95

UFC 95 has been slow to develop, however it looks like at least a part of the main event is finalized.  It is being rpeorted from various outlets that former weltweight contender, Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez (19-2, 8-2 UFC) will be welcomed into UFC lightweight division by Joe “Daddy” Stevenson.  I like this match up.  It pits two great grapplers against one another.  Both guys are high paced fighters.  Not to mention this will be the second bout in a 2 month span pitting the Ultimate Fighter 1 winner vs. the Ultimate Fighter 2 winner.  December 27th will feature the first in a light heavyweight bout between Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans.

     Sanchez has officially dropped to 155 lbs.  It should be an interesting fight.  Hopefully some more fire power will be added to the card, which will be London, England on February 21st.

UFC News: UFC Signs Dutch Heavyweight Stefan Struve

Fighters Only Magazine is Reporting that the UFC has inked Dutch Heavyweight prospect Stefan Struve to a four fight deal

The UFC has signed Dutch heavyweight Stefan Struve to a four-fight deal, Fighters Only can exclusively reveal.  He will make his debut at UFC 95 in London, although his opponent has not been agreed upon.  “I think I can beat most of the guys there. They have five or six really good heavyweights. The other guys… not so good, I think,” Struve told us.  Struve (22-2) was picked up by the promotion after submitting UFC veteran Mario ‘Sukata’ Neto several weeks ago. And in July, he stopped another UFC veteran – Colin Robinson – with a triangle after a one-sided first round. Just 20 years old, Struve has tapped two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts in his four-year career and has won more than 75 per cent of his fights by submission. He was reportedly courted by Affliction and Dream as well as the UFC in recent weeks.

This is a really solid addition as Struve really appears to be a good prospect at just 20 years old.  He will debut at UFC 95.  I will be interested to see if they pit him against Neil Grove, or if they give him a little easier fight.

UFC News: Roger Huerta vs. Joe Stevenson at UFC 95

Roger Huerta has re-upped with the UFC and is known to be returning in March.  It seems that Joe “Daddy” Stevenson is his likely opponent for UFC 95.  Interestingly, both fighters are coming off of losses to number one lightweight contender Kenny Florian. 

The UFC lightweight division is getting interesting as the space between Penn and the contenders is swelling.  Guys like Sherk, Stevenson, and Huerta are world class, but may have a hard time as long as Penn is champ.

Joe Stevenson

vs.

Roger Huerta

Daddy

Nickname

El Matador

4

MMA Blog Rank

5

155 Lbs.

Weight Class

155 Lbs.

29-9 (6-3 UFC)

Record

20-2-1( 6-1 UFC)