Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley did their best to lose fans with their performance at UFC 113 tonight in Montreal. The trash talk leading up to this bout, which was put on to determine the number one welterweight contender, had gotten personal and heated. This was to be expected as both men have a penchant for playing the heel and it was welcomed, both for the entertainment value and for increasing the likelihood of an exciting, heated fight. Unfortunately, neither man delivered when it mattered most and both did their part to mar the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
The fight began straightforward enough. Daley looked to press the action on the feet and Koscheck tentatively obliged him. Opting to stick within his wheelhouse, Koscheck took Daley down pretty quickly and looked to work the ground game. Offense number one came about when Daley stood from the ground and tried to land an illegal knee to the grounded Koscheck. Although the knee completely missed it’s mark, Koscheck saw fit to clutch at his face and go down as though he had been hit by a sniper. After several minutes of referee questioning and medical examination the fight was restarted.
The rest of the fight went pretty similarly, with Daley confirming the assertion that European fighters are a few years behind American fighters in the wrestling department. Koscheck looked to remind fans why they once dubbed him “The Blanket” by holding Daley down without looking for submissions or truly effective ground and pound. Koscheck rode out a boring decision win to earn another shot at Georges St. Pierre and his first shot at UFC gold and to effectively illustrate just how bare the UFC welterweight division is in regards to worthy contenders to St. Pierre’s throne.
Offense number two came about five seconds after the last bell when a clearly frustrated Paul Daley full on sucker punched Koscheck in the face. Daley was quickly restrained by referee Dan Miragliotta but not before he did irreparable damage to his career. UFC President Dana White said at the post-fight press conference that Daley has been fired and “will never fight in the UFC again.” With all the negative press surrounding MMA lately it’s no wonder White pulled the plug on Daley’s UFC career. Although he is an incredibly talented prospect, the kind of amateur display of violence that Daley put on post-fight does nothing to boost the sport’s image. Hopefully he will get his act together and land on his feet in Strikeforce or DREAM.
The third, and more minor, offense came when Koscheck decided to take on the role of pro-wrestling villain in his post-fight speech by taunting the crowd over the current hockey playoffs and promising to beat up their beloved Georges St. Pierre. While it is nowhere near measuring up to the level of immaturity displayed by Daley post-fight, Koscheck did not exactly do his part in contributing to the legitimization of MMA either.
This was truly an ugly spectacle. It was not exactly on the level of the Strikeforce brawl on CBS but it was close enough. It is hard to see what, if any, good has come from this fight. The UFC is less one contender at 170lbs. and the next man to challenge for the belt has already been beaten soundly by the champion and has proven on more than one occasion that he is willing to cheat blatantly in order to get ahead.
You can check out a video of Daley’s sucker punch below: