The UFC 113 co-main event between Josh Koscheck and Paul Daley ended with one fighter earning a coaching stint on the Ultimate Fighter and a shot at Georges St. Pierre’s coveted welterweight title while the other fighter was promptly cut from the organization and may be banned for life from MMA’s premiere organization. The fighters could not be headed down more divergent paths and it all started when the final bell rang and Paul Daley, who was stifled all night by Koscheck’s superior wrestling, threw an illegal left hook at Koscheck when the fight was clearly over. Koscheck winced as the cheap shot from Daley caught his eye. But the real damage was done to Daley’s career.
In an interview following the fight, Dana White explained the situation saying, “I like Paul Daley a lot, but what he did was inexcusable. He walked over to Koscheck and Koscheck could have thought he was coming over to shake hands or congratulate him and he took a cheap shot at him like that. If you throw a sucker punch like that after a fight in the UFC, I don’t care who you are, you’re done. He’ll never fight for us again.”
White may have felt forced to make the heavy-handed decision after chastising Strikeforce for a post-fight brawl between Jason Miller and Jake Shields last month. Several members of Shields’ camp were also involved in the melee including Gilbert Melendez and Nick and Nate Diaz.
White cited the firing of another fighter to show his consistency with unsportsmanlike behavior following a UFC fight.
He explained, “I cut Nick Diaz after he was fighting [Joe Riggs] at the hospital [following their UFC 57 fight in 2006]. People are sick and dying and you can’t be in the hospital fighting. I cut the guy even though I know he’s a very good fighter.”
The bad blood between Daley and Koscheck reached a boiling point as Koscheck began taunting Daley in the Octagon with 30 seconds left in the bout and the decision clearly in hand. Many feel the taunting was justified with the onslaught of trash talking that Daley spewed during the buildup to their eventual fight.
Koscheck will now prepare for the biggest opportunity of his life while Daley will try to resurrect his career from a monumental setback.