Josh Koschek and Johny Hendricks square off on May 5th’s UFC on FOX 3 card in a battle that could affect the title picture, depending on how things fall. We will look at that in a little bit, but the fight itself is intriguing, and the betting lines have the fight at a pick ‘em, with Koscheck sitting at -125 and Hendricks at -105. I found this to be a bit surprising, figuring that the public would favor Koscheck in this fight. But then again, Koscheck’s public persona is basically that he doesn’t care what the public thinks. Could this be skewing things, is Hendricks really a pick ‘em with Koscheck? Let’s take a look.
Hendricks has been around in the UFC for over two years, but since coming over from the WEC, he remained a relative unknown. Hendricks absolutely folded top contender Jon Fitch with one big punch in his last outing, and he has shown the power in his hands throughout his career.
But Koschek’s opponents have been the elite of the weight class for years. Chris Lytle, Frank Trigg, Dave Menne, George St Pierre (twice), Thiago Alves, Diego Sanchez, Yoshiuki Yoshida…. the list is long. So Koschek should be able to control the fight and win a decision.
But Koschek has been KO’d, courtesy of Paulo Thiago, and it was a bad one. Or for those he has pissed off, it was a good one! And by my estimation, Hendricks hits a hell of a lot harder than Alves. And Koschek has in the past, looked like a wrestler who was beginning to fall in love with his stand up.
Koschek has to think that the ascension of Carlos Condit and the appearance of an interim title give him a legitimate shot at getting back in the title picture. No one wants to see Koschek and St Pierre again but Condit adds a new element.
I do think this could be close to a pick em fight. Koshek is going to have to fight smart and stay safe. Does he want to get back into the title mix, or has his career come down to being the gate keeper that can’t even do his job? If he loses to Hendricks, that is what he will be, and people will love to see him fall!