Josh “Kos” Koscheck (17-5-0) vs. Johny Hendricks (12-1-0)
Johny Hendricks has a shot at making himself the number three welterweight in the world with a victory today, which will be undeniable, should he finish Koscheck as convincingly as he did his opponent’s training partner, Jon Fitch. Koscheck on the other hand has had the chance to wash away the memory of his lackluster win over Mike Pierce by defeating the red hot Hendricks. It has been stated by Dana that if Hendricks can win this fight he will be in line for a title shot, but if Koscheck wins, he will then need to wait out for a new welterweight champion that is not Georges St-Pierre.
Johny will most likely want to keep this fight standing. Koscheck has proven to have power in his punches, but Johny has two things going for him. He has a solid chin, and knockout power. Koscheck may have a chin but has been dropped in the past via Paulo Thiago. While Johny is not the most outspoken welterweight in the division, it would of been advantageous for Hendricks to try and bait Koscheck into a standup war, as it’s unknown if the fellow collegiate wrestler will be be to fend off the explosive takedowns of his opponent.
Koscheck will look to turn this fight into a wrestling match if he’s not scoring in the stand-up. Koscheck has said in the pre-fight talks that he will make this fight ‘interesting’ and make his opponent ‘pay,’ but he has said that before when out-wrestling opponents like Pierce, Johnson, and Hardy. The big question here is, can Hendricks land on an opponent that is a mirror of himself in skills.
The Bottom Line: I believe the confidence that came in the win over Fitch will give Hendricks the ability to persevere in this fight. The two will have a war, but in the end it will be the younger Hendricks having his hand raised via unanimous decision.