Reality (Kos)Check

Written by Tom Ngo
July 10th, 2008

Josh Koscheck took the Octagon on Saturday at UFC 86 against Chris Lytle with the reputation as a wrestler that is trying to fight MMA. He has not been a fan favorite since he made his debut into the UFC as a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 reality show due to his “boring” style. However, Kos showed an entirely new side of his ever-evolving game at UFC 86 on Saturday night.

“I came onto the ultimate fighter (as) just a wrestler,” Koscheck said at the UFC 86 post-fight press conference. “I never had any training. All of my fights I was a wrestler. I’m trying to improve for the fans and eventually I’m going to become a well-rounded fighter. I don’t think I’m there yet, eventually I’m going to (be).”

Koscheck has shown in his last two fights that he isn’t just a wrestler and that he indeed is a legitimate MMA fighter. In his last bout, he unleashed a devastating barrage of strikes that stopped Dustin Hazelett in the 2ndRound.  Then on Saturday, he dominated MMA veteran Chrisy Lytle all over the Octagon, leaving trails of his blood on the mat as proof.

“I think so, I think my hair was red,” Koscheck said about Lytle’s blood sticking to his bleach blonde hair.  “I was in the shower afterwards and they were in there taking pictures and it was dripping red.”

Koshcheck isn’t stupid, and of course is going to continue to use his superior wrestling skills to his advantage.  The only thing that is different now is that he is mixing in a nice balance of strikes, submission attempts and ground and pound into his game.

“That was the game plan, to take him down and beat on him,” Kos stated. “I knew that he has good stand up, he’s well rounded everywhere. A little disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to stop him. I thought that at the end of the second round they would stop that fight, but that ‘s life. I got the victory and I dominated him. “

However, the “dominating” Unanimous Decision victory wasn’t enough to appease the UFC fans at the Mandalay Bay Event Center, as they again rained down a chorus of boos when Koscheck’s hand was raised.

“Well, this is Vegas and since the week after The Ultimate Fighter aired (back in 2005), there was a UFC here and Dana said,’Oh, congratulations, they’re booing you.’ And I was like, ‘Oh boy, thanks.’ So I think the Vegas crowd has never really been (in my corner) too much,” mentioned Koscheck.

“But the boos, they’re going to happen. I don’t want to be the “in between guy” that everybody forgets, so I don’t mind playing the roll of the bad guy,” he added. “But eventually, they’re gonna see the improvement that I’m making as a mixed martial artist and they’re gonna jump over and cheer me. It’s just a matter of time.”

It is undeniable that his game is improving. The question is, when will the UFC fans realize it.

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