Koscheck vs Thiago – Kos the Animal
With his wild hair, demonstrative personality, and fight-anyone-at-any-time attitude, Josh Koscheck seems to be morphing from one of the most hated fighters in the UFC to a fan favorite.
The former college wrestling star is one of the most explosive and dangerous welterweight contenders in the sport. He recently scored a brutal knockout victory over Japanese sensation Yoshiyuki Yoshida in early December, but that won’t stop him from climbing right back into the Octagon on February 21st to fight another tough opponent in Brazilian Paulo Thiago.
The odds at BetUS have Koscheck installed as a -500 to +350 favorite against Thiago, and this is another fight that should be an interesting clash of styles.
Thiago is a jiu-jitsu specialist who holds 7 submission wins out of 10 wins overall. His best hope against Koscheck is obviously to pull guard and hope to sink in a submission. The problem is that Koscheck is more than capable of controlling this fight from the beginning of round one with his wrestling as well as his striking.
Koscheck’s striking has always been underrated, and while he isn’t the most technical guy out there, he can put on a good show and knock people out if they’re not careful with him. That threat will be omnipresent against Thiago, who hasn’t been on a stage anywhere near the level of the UFC, and it will allow Koscheck to go in for his brutal, lightning-quick takedowns and to finish the fight with his punishing ground-and-pound game.
Koscheck stands a good chance of winning this fight as long as he stays out of trouble on the ground, and that shouldn’t be too much of a problem in this one because Koscheck has fought some well-rounded guys in his day and he certainly knows his way around the Octagon.
Thiago is a talented guy who might have a bright future in the UFC, but for now, Koscheck is too powerful and too experienced not to win this fight at UFC 95. Koscheck suffered a tough loss against Thiago Alves a while back when he took the fight on short notice, but the UFC seems to be setting him up for a road back to a future title shot by giving him a guy that isn’t quite ready for prime time yet.