We’re now over a week removed from UFC 124: “St. Pierre vs. Koscheck 2”, the event that saw long-reigning UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre once again demolish a top-ranked Welterweight. GSP’s latest victim was Josh Koscheck, who lost to GSP for the second time and in front of an incredibly partisan crowd. It’s recently been revealed that Josh Koscheck will be sitting on the sidelines for at least sixty days in order to heal up a broken orbital bone. Many are wondering what the future holds for “Kos”, and I personally hesitated to comment immediately after the event. Now that I’ve taken some time to really think about everything, here’s my list of the Top 5 opponents Josh Koscheck should face in the immediate future.
5. Paulo Thiago
It’s one of the biggest losses of his career, and in a way, Koscheck is still fighting to get out of the shadow of this loss. And what better way to do just that than by stepping back inside the Octagon with Paulo Thiago in order to prove once and for all that Thiago’s victory was more fluke than fantastic? If Koscheck can return the favor and KO Thiago, he’ll have permanently closed the book on the entire situation and he’d also take a firm step on the comeback trail.
4. Chris Lytle
A lot has changed since Chris Lytle first met Josh Koscheck in 2008. It now appears that, after years of fighting tooth-and-nail up the rankings, Chris Lytle has finally emerged as a top-division star. His boxing has never looked more crisp and precise, and his ground game has resulted in several amazing submission wins in several of his recent fights. This would be an important test for both men, and if Koscheck can make his record against Lytle a perfect 2-0, he’ll have firmly established that he’s far from done in the UFC’s Welterweight division.
3. Thiago Alves
I know this list does seem to have a large amount of rematches in it, but to be fair, every single one of these matches makes sense and would really help further along Koscheck’s career. After hitting a rough patch ever since he lost to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 100, Thiago Alves most recently found his inner “Pitbull” when he thoroughly outclassed John Howard. If the old Alves really is back, he represents a major opportunity for Koscheck to reestablish himself.
2. BJ Penn
This match makes sense for so many reasons. If BJ Penn beats Koscheck’s teammate Jon Fitch in their upcoming encounter, this will be an awesome grudge match. If Fitch beats Penn, it’ll be Penn that looks for revenge against another member of the American Kickboxing Academy. Both men also have very impressive stand-up and, for the most part, very strong chins. This match sounds great enough on paper, but add a little BJ Penn vs. AKA rivalry into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for an awesome and pretty important fight.
And my #1 opponent for Josh Koscheck to fight in the near future is…
1. Matt Hughes
Josh Koscheck has been campaigning for this match for quite some time, and he’s vocally called out the UFC Hall of Fame member in the past. With Hughes turning towards retirement, this would be an epic showdown, and it would be a tremendous moral victory and a huge motivating factor if Josh Koscheck ends up being the man that retires Matt Hughes. And of course Matt Hughes wouldn’t go down without a fight. Not only would this be an incredibly important fight, it also would more than likely be one of the year’s best.
And that’s what I think, fans and friends. What about you? Who do you think Koscheck should face in the near future, and why?