During a conference call to promote UFC 90, Josh Koscheck confirmed that he plans to fight twice in the next sixty days. First, Koscheck takes on Thiago Alves in the co-main event on October 25th. Then, If Koscheck comes out unscathed, he will have a six week turnaround to prepare for Yoshiyuki Yoshida on December 10.
There are some very interesting sub-plots going on though. One of the main reasons Koscheck took the short-notice fight with Alves is that Koscheck believes the winner will be the number one contender for welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. However, Koscheck will be fighting Yoshida in the interim. Should Koscheck lose to Yoshida, it would seem highly unlikely that he would still receive the title shot.
Next, Alves is a very good fighter who has already had a huge 2008 that included victories over both Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. The odds of Koscheck coming out of the fight without injury in order to make such a quick turn-around would seem unlikely. That brings the next question as to who would the UFC replace him with in a TV main event match? Former Ultimate Fighter alums Diego Sanchez and Mike Swick are out due to injury. Typically, Spike likes to feature former TUF competitors on their shows, but that doesn’t seem possible in this case. That would leave Parisyan as a possibility since he and Yoshida have been rumored as opponents in the past. However, it’s hard to believe a Parisyan – Yoshida bout would be of that much interest to Spike, but Spike hopes that is not an issue. They want Koscheck. If Koscheck makes both fights, it will be a very impressive feat.
Koscheck has the chance to really change what the fans think of him. Typically, Koscheck has been heavily booed in his matches. Fighting Alves (who severely missed weight against Hughes) will make him the crowd favorite by default. Plus, stepping up on short notice to replace Sanchez to save a show that is a pretty weak card in terms of star power should endear him to the Chicago fans. Then, he will be coming back in six weeks to take on a Japanese fighter at a U.S. military base. Certainly, the crowd will be 100% behind him.
Koscheck has always been polarizing figure for the UFC. Some people like him and most people hate him. But it is this showing of guts and fortitude that could quickly make him one of the most popular fighters in the UFC.