NEW YORK - MARCH 06: UFC welterwights Josh Koscheck (L) and Johny Hendricks (R) pose at a press conference at Radio City Music Hall on March 06, 2012 in New York City. UFC announced that their third event on the FOX network will take place on Saturday, May 5 from the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, N.J.. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Getty Images)
Johny Hendricks and Josh Koscheck are set to face off in a pivotal welterweight bout in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 3 this Saturday night. Hendricks was a guest on UFC Tonight on Fuel last night, and spoke frankly about the matchup. On the other side of the coin, Koscheck spoke to ESPN about his new boxing coach Tom Semore and how much of an improvement he's made with his hands in just a few months. First up, the Fitch-slayer (transcribed by MMA Mania):
"Man, I just can't wait. I thought I was excited for Jon Fitch, but actually, it's this fight that I'm really excited for. I knew that if I didn't get that title shot and that if Carlos Condit wanted to wait, I knew I had to have somebody. So, Josh Koscheck's right there. If I beat him, I might get 'Fighter of the Year.' That's what I'm looking for now. If I don't get that title shot, let's move towards something else. I'm gonna put my hands on him, take him down...whatever. You know what I mean? I don't care where the fight goes. I believe I'm better than him, everywhere the fight goes. Actually, I just can't wait to hit him and put this left hand on him and see what happens."
I didn't realize there was a "Fighter of the Year" award. Is he talking about the World MMA Awards or something? Anyway, you can catch what Kos has to say about his standup after the jump.
Koscheck left AKA a few months ago, and hasn't had the nicest things to say about his time there. He seems pretty optimistic about his fresh start though:
"I've been fighting in UFC for eight years, and I don't think I knew how to throw a jab correctly until a few months ago," Koscheck said. "That's the difference. It's the techniques I'm learning, learning how to throw a proper punch.
"My speed has improved; I'm faster. I've only been working with Tom Semore a few months and I've made great improvement."
Coach Semore agrees:
"Josh has some of the best foot movement in MMA," Semore said. "Josh is great when he moves. I have to just keep him moving.
"I’m in the process of refining all of his moves. Right now I couldn’t be more pleased with his progress."
This is an extremely close fight, and improved standup from Kos might make the difference. We'll find out on Saturday night.