After scoring a dissatisfying victory over Paul Daley and promising defeat for both the Montreal Canadiens (by his home state’s Pittsburgh Penguins) and Canadian MMA icon Georges St. Pierre (by himself) in his post-fight speech, Josh Koscheck has the fans and media dubbing him the UFC’s biggest “heel.” With his win over Daley, Koscheck secured himself a coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter opposite St. Pierre and also a chance to challenge “Rush” for his UFC Welterweight Championship Belt. When asked at the post-fight press conference if he would be open to fighting St. Pierre for the belt in a now very anti-Josh Koscheck Montreal, Koscheck had this to say:
“Negative. We’re going to Pittsburgh for that one.”
UFC President Dana White then told media that he had no idea if the fight (which will take place upon the conclusion of The Ultimate Fighter will go down in Koscheck’s backyard or not. As far as his taunting of the crowd goes, Koscheck says that it was tit-for-tat; he was paying back the fans for booing him during the fight.
“I knew that if they booed me, then I was going to get even with them,” he said. “I didn’t know that the Penguins did beat the – what is it, the Habs? – tonight. That didn’t go over too well.”
Koscheck seemed good-natured at the presser. Likely because he beat in Daley a man who had ridiculed him pretty viciously in the lead up to the fight. To add to that, Koscheck so frustrated Daley during the fight that the only answer he could come up with for Koscheck was to throw a very obvious sucker-punch at him well after the final bell had sounded; prompting referee Dan Miragliotta to yoke him up and UFC President Dana White to cut him from the UFC permanently. Koscheck laughed about drawing the ire of the crowd and jokingly mentioned that because of that he might skip his after party to board a plane out of Canada.
While he may not have made many new fans or won a Fight of the Night bonus as a result of his fight, many believe that Koscheck showed real promise as an amateur thespian during his time in the cage. Early on in the bout Daley threw an illegal knee to a grounded Koscheck, in response to which Koscheck writhed in agony and had both the referee and the on-hand medical staff asking him if he could continue. Daley was docked a point due to the illegal move after Koscheck finally indicated that he could continue fighting and so the bout went on. Pretty standard stuff in that situation except for the fact that the instant replay seemed to have shown Daley’s knee whiffing past Koscheck’s head, never making contact with anything more than his hair. The replay was so convincing that referee Dan Miragliotta gave Daley the point back that he deducted and UFC President Dana White told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani that he called Koscheck out on the acting job after the fight. Sticking to his guns, though, Koscheck maintains (half-heartedly) that he was in fact hit by something.
“I just kind of got kneed in the eye,” Koscheck said. “I don’t know if it was a knee or a punch, to be honest with you. I was on my knees and just got hit. I just tried to get a couple seconds to get my bearings and go back in.”
Although he told MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani that Daley was a “cheater,” for gouging his eyes and for apparently feeling “oily” during the fight, Koscheck told the ESPN MMA Live crew at their post-fight show that he respects Daley and wishes him the best.
“I hope the best for Paul Daley,” said Koscheck. “I don’t dislike him. I dislike how he acted, but I don’t dislike him and I hope the UFC will give him another chance.”
Despite the ugly nature of the fight and the fact that neither man will likely walk away from the fight drawing any praise, Koscheck is still the UFC’s number one contender and will be facing Georges St. Pierre in a rematch of their UFC 74 meeting sometime after the conclusion of TUF. St. Pierre out-wrestled Koscheck in their first fight and there is not much indicating that he won’t be able to do it again. Seeing Paulo Thiago against St. Pierre next might be more preferable since he has never fought St. Pierre and since he owns a knockout win over Koscheck. Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields would be the best choice for St. Pierre’s next fight but he is still tangled up in his Strikeforce contract, preventing his official spot on the UFC roster. So, until those contract issues get cleared up or the UFC decides to utilize Paulo Thiago, MMA fans will have to settle for St. Pierre taking on recycled opponents in less-than-interesting fights.