The UFC held a press conference today to officially announced Jose Aldo vs. Erik Koch as the main event of the upcoming UFC 149 fight card, which will be the promotion’s first to air in Calgary, Canada.
Before it was revealed that Aldo would be making his next title defense against Koch, there was much speculation as to who the Brazilian dynamo would face next. Though he’s a proven threat at 145, Koch’s name was not at the top of many pundits’ lists. But, the UFC pegged him as a worth challenger and the champion agrees.
“He thinks that it was actually a well deserved nomination,” Aldo’s translator said at today’s presser. “Erik has a good rank. He wasn’t actually so surprised. Even though there was some other interesting names, he’s up for the challenge.
“He thinks it’s fair that he will now be going up for the title because he’s been coming through a long run of several fights previously with the WEC.”
For Koch, a 23-year-old with fourteen pro fights to his credit, getting the opportunity to face Aldo was a dream come true. Though young, the Roufusport product is smart enough to know he’s facing a challenge that’s not to be taken lightly.
“First of all, I’ll say, when I found out I got the fight — I mean, I’ve been trying to get the fight just because it’s for the title; this is my dream and I’ve been trying to get it for awhile — when I got the call, I’ll tell you, I literally went into my living room, got down to my knees and screamed at the top of my lungs,” Koch related. “It’s awesome.
“This is 23 years in the making. I’ve been doing this since I was a little kid. Just to be here and to get a chance, especially against such a dominant champion — who is just an awesome champion — it’s an awesome test and it’s an awesome challenge. I’m just really excited.”
UFC 149 is scheduled for 21 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary.