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Josh Koscheck Wanted Wanderlei, Leben or Franklin at Middleweight

Written by Tom Ngo
September 12th, 2011
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UFC Welterweight Josh Koscheck

Prior to landing his long-awaited fight against Matt Hughes at UFC 135, Josh Koscheck (Pictured) was in pursuit of a middleweight shootout against several Octagon stars. In a blog for Sportsnet.ca, the longtime welterweight revealed he wanted to jump divisions because everyone in his weight class “who meant anything” had already been issued their next assignments.

“The people the UFC wanted me to fight just didn’t interest me at all,” Koscheck shared. “The names they offered me were just “paydays” … I don’t want to fight those guys.”

Koscheck holds a 15-5 professional record, but hasn’t been seen since dropping a unanimous decision loss to champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 124 last December. Kos suffered a broken right orbital bone in the title affair and has been on the mend ever since.

To ensure his return bout would be one of significance, the controversial wrestler felt he had no choice but to move to middleweight.

“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,” he stated. “Realistically, I asked to fight Wanderlei Silva, Chris Leben and even Rich Franklin at 185.”

Unfortunately for Kos, those opportunities didn’t pan out. However, an ever-elusive scrap with Hughes unexpectedly presented itself when Diego Sanchez broke his hand. After catching wind of the news, Koscheck did everything he could to serve as a replacement.

“I’ve called out Hughes for so long but he’s always avoided me,” Koscheck. “Like I knew he would, he tried to suggest fighting Jon Fitch instead, knowing full well Fitch is still recovering from shoulder surgery.

“I tweeted that I’d accepted the fight and was ready, just to put pressure on Hughes to quit bitching and take the fight. I wanted to make it so that if he did turn the fight down, all the fans would know that he bitched out.”

Hughes ultimately accepted the challenge and their 170-pound affair is now a go. UFC 135 takes place September 24th inside the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.

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