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Sanchez out. Koscheck in?

You know UFC 135 is coming up fast because fighters have started dropping off the card like flies due to injury. Manny Gamburyan and his perma-screwed shoulder were the first to go, followed by both Kid Yamamoto and Damacio Page … ‘fortunately’ they were fighting eachother so that only cost us one amazing scrap. Now we have news that the co-main event for the show is pooched: Diego Sanchez has broken his hand. NO! NO! NO!

“I am heartbroken that I have to inform MMA fans that I cannot fight Hughes at UFC 135 later this month,” Sanchez began. “I have never physically felt more prepared to compete than I felt for this fight, which makes this even more painful for me.”

Sanchez’s brief statement ended with a message of hope for his supporters, saying, “While I do not know right now when I will return, I want to assure all of the fans out there that I will be back in the Octagon as soon as I am 100 percent healthy.”

Immediately after the UFC announced the news, Dana White tweeted that they were working on finding a replacement for Hughes to battle. Diego Sanchez wasn’t the easiest fight in the universe for him to begin with, and it doesn’t get much better competition wise unless the UFC decides to take Royce Gracie up on his ‘I fight de Hughes for one meeeellion dollar!‘ offer. Or Matt Hughes’ desire to rematch the only guy other than GSP to beat him twice, mister short shorts himself: Dennis Hallman.

After that it’s a murderer’s row of welterweight contenders like Rory MacDonald, Jon Fitch, and Josh Koscheck. Matt Hughes famously ducked both Fitch and Koscheck in the past and I imagine has little interest in becoming the latest trophy name on Rory MacDonald’s record, so there’s a little quandry there. Perhaps hoping to goad Matt into accepting a fight with him, Josh Koscheck had this to say:

I’m a big-name fighter, so he can take that and run with it. I put it out there. I told UFC I’d do it, and if Matt Hughes is man enough, he’ll step up and do it.

I think he’ll do it. I think he’ll take the fight. He wants big-name fighters. He’s getting near the end of his career. I think he’ll take the fight because it’s good for the sport and good for the UFC.

I don’t think I’ve got to worry about anything with Matt Hughes — well, possibly worry about him accepting the fight. (chuckles) But other than that, I’m not worried about anything he brings to the table. I think I’m better in every area. I’ve just got to go out there and prove it now.

While Koscheck has let it be known that he’s accepted the UFC’s offer to fight Hughes, that doesn’t mean he’s the only fighter they’ve contacted. We’ll have to wait and see who our favorite bible thumpin country boy decides on … if he even decides he’s still going to fight on the card at all. A bible quote to give him confidence:

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. -Proverbs 24:10

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    Hughes shouldn’t have to fight Koscheck at this stage in his career. He’s been fed to enough of the young guns and these days is just fighting for entertainment. No point going in there with a top three “contender” that is pretty much guaranteed to win.

    A match against Dan Hardy would make the most sense to me. Both are out of the contenders circle right now and both have opposite strengths and weaknesses. Would be a fun fight that Hughes might win against a big name. If Hardy wins it’s good for him too.

    Make it so.

  • CAP

    ^Man I think Hardy/Hughes would be god awful. Everyone knows how that will work out, Hardy getting wrestlefucked. Kos seems like a good replacement. Not too many “big names” outside of that. I’m always down to watch Kos underestimate his opponents and lose.

  • Mixed Martial Adam

    I think Hughes’ wrestling is a little overrated these days. Hardy would stand a good chance at stuffing his takedowns and may actually win by TKO. If Hughes wrestle-fucks Hardy the whole fight at least Hardy is out of the UFC and Hughes has a win over a big name.

    I just don’t see any way that Hughes wins the Koscheck fight (Kos’ striking, speed, strength, conditioning and wrestling are all better) and to me that is a god awful booking.

  • Blackula Jonez

    Hughes can always retire if a fight isn’t to his liking.


    I thought the UFC was where the best in the sport compete, not where over the hill vets get to pick and choose opponents.


    Whats the best case scenario for Hughes anyway, a win an another title run?!

    Fight or give up your card space for an up and comer.

  • glassjawsh

    is martin kampmann booked? that’d be a pretty decent scrap

  • CAP

    In other news Reem vs. Lesnar official for December!

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    If he weren’t booked I’d suggest Shields, but Kos could be fun for five seconds if Hughes is willing to fight a wrestle puncher.

  • KeyboardWarrior

    Both of them are dickheads. I’m hoping for a double knockout Maynard style.

  • Reverend Clint

    cabbage patch vs bigot

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Biblical Queen versus Fraggle.

  • agentsmith

    Straight from the horse’s mouth: Hughes vs Kos is official.

  • CAP

    Nice. That’s an interesting fight. If Kos takes Hughes I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch with Diego.