May 5, 2012; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Johny Hendricks (right) fights Josh Koscheck in a welterweight bout during UFC on Fox 3 at the Izod Center. Johny Hendricks won by split decision in the third round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Much has been made about the lack of major fights besides the main event for UFC 151, but now it has another one. Two top 10 welterweights are looking to recover from tough losses, as Josh Koscheck takes on Jake Ellenberger in the night's co-main event. The UFC made the announcement on their website:
Two top-ten ranked welterweights have verbally agreed to meet in the co-main event of UFC 151 as powerhouse wrestlers Jake "The Juggernaut" Ellenberger and Josh Koscheck will battle it out September 1st.
Koscheck last fought at UFC on FOX 3 in New Jersey, where he lost a razor-thin split decision to top contender Johny Hendricks, which perhaps is fitting considering a split decision went his way at UFC 143, when he edged out Mike Pierce. This is the former title challenger's 4th fight since losing a lopsided unanimous decision to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124 in Montreal, a fight in which Koscheck suffered a broken orbital bone with virtually the first of many landed jabs by GSP. It's clearly been a recurring problem for Koscheck, as his right eye has noticeably swelled in each of his last 3 fights. At 34, having lost twice to GSP, this is quite possibly Koscheck's last chance at a title run, and a win against Ellenberger would put him right back in contention.
Jake Ellenberger has impressed many fans dating back to his first fight in the UFC back in September 2009, when he fought current interim champion Carlos Condit on short-notice. The Juggernaut dominated the opening round, knocking down Condit early and nearly stopping him, before Condit came back to win a narrow split-decision. Ellenberger then went on a six-fight win streak, including a shockingly easy TKO of Jake Shields and a thrilling decision win over Diego Sanchez, setting him up for a huge meeting with Martin Kampmann at The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale on June 1st. His powerful hands overwhelmed Kampmann in just 30 seconds, sending the Dane to the canvas with a hard left hook, but Ellenberger was unable to seize the early opportunity. Ellenberger would suffer the first KO loss of his career in the 2nd round, when Kampmann dropped him with a flush knee to the face to complete the turnaround. Now he's looking to get back on track with another big win over a top 10 welterweight.
Josh Koscheck (17-6 MMA, 15-6 UFC)
L vs. Johny Hendricks via decision (split) - UFC on FOX 3
W vs. Mike Pierce via decision (split) - UFC 143
W vs. Matt Hughes via KO (punches) - UFC 135
Jake Ellenberger (27-6 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
L vs. Martin Kampmann via KO (knees) - TUF Live Finale
W vs. Diego Sanchez via decision (Unanimous) - UFC on FUEL 1
W vs. Jake Shields via TKO (knee and punches) - UFC Fight Night 25
After the jump is the UFC 151 fight card at a glance.
Jon Jones vs. Dan Henderson (for UFC Light Heavyweight Championship)
Josh Koscheck vs. Jake Ellenberger (co-main event)
Dennis Siver vs. Eddie Yagin
Michael Johnson vs. Danny Castillo
Dennis Hallman vs. Thiago Tavares
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Jeff Hougland
John Lineker vs. Yasuhiro Urushitani