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With Top Welters Tied Up, Koscheck Eyed Silva, Franklin Or Leben At 185

Owing to Georges St-Pierre’s thorough restructuring of his face, Josh Koscheck has been out of action since challenging Rush for the belt back in December of 2010.

Once his shattered face had healed, Koscheck wanted to get right back into the thick of things — only problem was, all of the top fighters in his weight class were already committed to bouts. This lead to Koscheck scoping out the scene at middleweight, where he eventually settled upon Wanderlei Silva, Chris Leben or Rich Franklin as desirable opponents. Koscheck discusses the situation in his latest blog written for

“You probably saw that I was considering going to middleweight, and the reason I wanted to fight at middleweight was everyone at 170 pounds who meant anything was already locked up with a fight,” writes Koscheck. “To be honest, and mentioning no names, the people the UFC wanted me to fight just didn’t interest me at all. The names they offered me were just ‘paydays’ — fights to get on a card and have a fight, take a shower get a payday and go home and I don’t want to fight those guys.

“After the GSP fight, I needed to come back and remind everyone what I am all about and if I couldn’t do that at 170 pounds I figured maybe as a one-off just to have a major fight to come back with, I’d take a fight at 185 pounds. Realistically, I asked to fight Wanderlei Silva, Chris Leben and even Rich Franklin at 185.”

Things ended up working out for Koscheck, as Diego Sanchez got injured and was forced to pull out of his scheduled fight with Matt Hughes, leaving the spot open for Koscheck to fill. Koscheck will now face Hughes, whom he insists has ducked him for years, at UFC 135 this September 24 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.