For MMA fighters it is all or nothing. Josh Koscheck prepared for this fight mentally and physically for months. When it is all said and done, he'll have nothing but memories and a badly swollen eye to show for it.That's the sport. There is no game next week, no seventeen week season to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everything is decided in 25 minutes or less. It's a sport that is truly a brutal mistress.
I was right that Koscheck and his trainers realized that the best way to beat Georges St. Pierre was to sprawl and brawl and hope to land that huge right hand. It wasn't meant to be. St. Pierre, working off a great series of jabs, controlled every second of the 25 minute decision. It was clear that Koscheck had worked hard on his takedown defense, stifling many of the champion's many attempts.
But for the challenger that was a Pyrrhic victory. It just meant he had to spend more time standing where he had no answer at all for a simple jab. We heard a lot about how Koscheck is now a complete martial artist. There's some truth there - like Dan Henderson before him, he's a wrestler with the natural gift of punching power. What was missing for Koscheck was the science behind the sweet science. His punches were all wild, lacking any finesse, his combinations almost non existent.
Much of that credit goes to St. Pierre. He took the center of the Octagon, in front of 23,000 of his countrymen, and turned in as dominant a performance as we've seen in UFC history. After the bout, announcer Joe Rogan suggested that the 170 pound kingpin might end up moving up in weight to 185 pounds. GSP has also talked about making that move going forward. I hope it never comes to pass. Nothing would be worse than seeing a superlative athlete like Georges St. Pierre struggle against perfectly ordinary fighters simply because he's giving up too much weight. The man is the greatest welterweight of all time. Isn't that enough?