Jose Aldo is still the man to beat in the UFC‘s featherweight division given the talented Brazilian’s ability to withstand multiple challengers to his crown. One man who seemed poised to break into the role of contender recently had an injury ending his hopes, though now he seems ready to fight again in the next few months.
Erik Koch, who is on a four-fight winning streak, was set to face Dustin Poirier last month before being knocked out of the bout for health-related reasons. Now, according to manager Mike Roberts, Koch is targeting a return in June and will be seeking a bout with a 145er who can help advance him towards his goal of challenging for Aldo’s belt.
“A training injury required him to take a little bit of time off,” explained Roberts to MMAWeekly. “He took the time off, got his body back healthy. He should be back in there around June. I’ll be pretty excited for that.”
Koch, who trains with Duke Roufus, could become the top threat to Aldo by default with another big win. Poirier has set he doesn’t feel ready to compete for the title quite yet, while Hatsu Hioki could be next in line for “Scarface” already based on his big win over Bart Palaszewski at UFC 144.
“I’m looking for him to be back in June with a big fight, as well,” Roberts said of his 13-1 client. “Getting him right in there and getting a crack at Jose Aldo.”
“New Breed” has earned three early stoppages in his four consecutive victories, while his lone career loss has come at the hands of former #1 contender Chad Mendes in 2010.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC