At UFC Fight Night 62, we may have very well seen the end of Josh Koscheck’s MMA career. His opponent Erick Silva, came out in classic form with a full on blitzkrieg from the opening bell and it proved too much for the aging Koscheck to handle. After being battered around the cage for first few minutes, Silva sunk in a guillotine choke that Koscheck barely fought off at all before tapping out at 4:21 of the first round.
The loss marks Koscheck’s fifth in a row and will likely signal an end to his UFC and MMA career.
For newer fans to the sport, it is important to remember what Josh Koscheck has meant to the sport of MMA. A veteran of the legendary first season of The Ultimate Fighter, Josh Koscheck brought his NCAA championship wrestling credentials to television, and became the UFC’s first reality show heel. His classic in-house and in-cage fighting with Chris Leben is one of the more memorable themes of the show’s long history, and set the tone for the fans perception of Kos throughout his entire career.
While the five-fight losing streak is a sad, but familiar tale for fighters across all combat sports, the talent and success of Josh Koscheck should not be overshadowed by his later career woes.
With a list of impressive wins including victories over Matt Hughes, Frank Trigg, Anthony Johnson, Chris Lytle, Paul Daley, Pete Spratt, Diego Sanchez, and the infamous TUF fight against Chris Leben, Koscheck’s career culminated in a title fight against 170-pound GOAT, Georges St. Pierre. Unfortunately, it was the same title fight that seemed to signal the end of his best days.
A broken orbital bone suffered in the fight with GSP is often times seen as the turning point of Koscheck’s career. He just never seemed to be able to recover mentally from that fight and his three-year, five-fight losing streak soon followed.
So what is the legacy of Josh Koscheck?
An arrogant, naturally gifted, good-looking, smack-talking, grinding wrestle-boxer is arguably the best recipe for a villain in the sport of MMA. He could beat you standing, he could beat you on the mat, and before and after it was all said and done he could beat you with his words. When the Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrocks of the sport started to fade from the competitive ranks, it was fighters like Josh Koscheck and Michael Bisping who carried that torch. The fact that Koscheck was able to back up his talk with consistently great performances made it all the better for anyone who tuned in over the years.
No matter how much you love your heroes, they are nothing without a villain. Josh Koscheck gave you a great villain, and we should all thank him for it.
By: Michael Gilman, collateraldamagemma.com