UFC On Fox 3 Fight Card Primer: Josh Koscheck Vs. Johny Hendricks

Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks face off during the UFC on FOX 3 weigh-ins at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J. on May 4, 2012. Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

At UFC on Fox 3, Welterweight wrestlers meet as Josh Koscheck (17-5; 15-5 UFC) faces Johny Hendricks (12-1; 7-1 UFC). This is the semi-main event of the evening and the third of four bouts on the Fox card. According to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, Koscheck is currently the #6 ranked Welterweight in the world, with Hendricks one spot above him at #5. The Fox card begins Saturday, May 5 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with prelims starting at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT on Fuel TV.

This is an interesting fight for a number of reasons. First up, Dana White announced this week that Johny Hendricks will move into the #1 contender status with a win here (though he'll likely have to wait for the Carlos Condit vs. GSP fight). You also have a great story at play with two very similar fighters at very different points in their careers. Hendricks is on a red-hot streak right now, coming off a spectacular KO win over Jon Fitch. Koscheck meanwhile is coming off a narrow win that made many question if he is winding up his MMA career. Add in a bit of a personal story as Hendricks's big win came at the expense of Koscheck's former teammate Fitch, and you have a great fight.

How do these two stack up?

Hendricks: 28 years old | 5'9" | 69" reach
Koscheck: 34 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach

What have these two done recently?

Hendricks: W - Jon Fitch (KO) | W - Mike Pierce (SD) | W - TJ Waldburger (KO)
Koscheck: W - Mike Pierce (SD) | W - Matt Hughes (KO) | L - Georges St. Pierre (UD)

How did these two get here?

Johny Hendricks made a huge UFC debut back in 2009 when he knocked out Amir Sadollah in just 29 seconds. After that, he sort of faded away from the PPV stage, with most of his subsequent fights taking place on the prelims. In those fights, he quietly put together an impressive 5-1 record before being invited back to the main card for a big UFC 141 showdown with consistent top contender Jon Fitch. In just 12 seconds, Hendricks KO'd Fitch, immediately proving himself as a true contender at Welterweight. With a strong wrestling base and dynamite in his hands, Hendricks is a serious force.

Like Hendricks, Josh Koscheck is a highly credentialed wrestler. And like Hendricks, he's used some powerful KO's to rise up the ranks. But where Hendricks is surging, Koscheck is fading. In 2010, Kos challenged Georges St. Pierre for the Welterweight title. He was beaten badly in that fight, suffering a broken orbital bone that kept him out of action for 9 months. He came back with a win over the nearly retired Matt Hughes, but it was his UFC 143 performance against Mike Pierce that turned heads, and not in a good way. Koscheck had tremendous problems with Pierce, and through he took the split decision win, it was a fight that many felt showed his days at the top were done. He has a lot to prove, and if he wants to remain relevant, he needs this win badly.

Why should you care?

Even if you don't like the Koscheck persona (and, I admit, I don't), this is a moment that transcends that image. He's suddenly in the role of veteran trying to hold back the new guard that is so desperately trying to take his spot. Can he do it, or will Hendricks violently knock him aside? I want to know.

More UFC on Fox 3 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.

SBN coverage of UFC on Fox 3

UFC on Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Rousimar Palhares Vs. Alan Belcher Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3 Weigh-In Video And Coverage - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: The Grappling Tendencies Of Jim Miller And Nate Diaz - Ben Thapa

UFC On Fox 3 Staff Picks And Predictions - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3 Judo Chop: The Southpaw Striking Of Jim Miller - Fraser Coffeen

UFC On Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Pat Barry Vs. Lavar Johnson Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3's Jim Miller: 'When I Get Hold Of Him, I'm Going To Be The Stronger Guy' - Steph Daniels

UFC On Fox 3 First Two Prelims Now On Facebook - Ben Thapa

UFC On Fox 3 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Diaz Vs. Miller - Fuel TV Prelims Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3: Danny Castillo Says He'd Rather Die Than Let His People Down - Steph Daniels

UFC On Fox 3: Full Card Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3 'Dark Matches' Dissection - Delorme Vs. Denis, Massenzio Vs. Vemola - Dallas Winston

UFC On Fox 3: Lack Of Star Power Will Test The UFC Brand - Fraser Coffeen

UFC On Fox 3: ESPN Will Not Show Event Live In UK - KJ Gould

UFC On Fox 3: Johny Hendricks Discusses Josh Koscheck, Koscheck Talks About Boxing - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Dana White Video Blog Number 2 - Tim Burke

UFC On Fox 3: Is Josh Koscheck Too Old To Beat Johny Hendricks? - Kid Nate

UFC On Fox 3: Dana White Video Blog Part 1 - Clowning On Faber - Tim Burke

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