December 19, 2009 a young and very highly touted 8-0 fighter named Erik Koch made his WEC debut against Jameel Massouh and would ultimately get the win via unanimous decision. Big things were expected of the then 21-year old Koch but as we all know the fight game can be both beautiful and savage.
The Iowa-born Koch who has been a black belt in Tae Kwon Do since the tender age of 10 is returning from a two-year lay off to face Shane Campbell in Las Vegas on Sunday. Injury woes have kept the 27-year old not just out of competition since his May 2014 loss to Daron Cruickshank but for the majority of his UFC career. Having come into the promotion in March of 2011 he has only managed to stay healthy enough to fight six times. While he has gone 3-3 during that time, Koch is still widely considered to be a future champion, If he can stay healthy.
Dropping out of Washington High School to pursue a career in mixed martial arts Koch made his pro debut in 2007 and quickly racked up a perfect undefeated 8-0 record on the smaller shows and local circuit in and around Iowa where he won the Mainstream MMA lightweight championship as well as the Mainstream featherweight tournament. It was during this time that he had caught the attention of the WEC and after his unanimous decision win over Tim Ahrens he signed for the promotion and his journey into the big leagues began.While he was successful in his promotional debut his original fight against Wagnney Fabiano had to be pushed back due to injury.This small bump in the road led Koch to what was expected to end up in UFC glory.
In his second WEC outing he met a world-class wrestler by the name of Chad Mendes, who bested him via unanimous decision. In what was his first loss as a professional, Koch took the lesson imposed on him by Mendes and went on a devastating run of four straight victories, two of which came in the last days of the WEC against Bendy Casimir where he won via triangle choke in the first round and violent stoppage of the heavy handed Francisco Rivera in his last WEC bout. Koch’s UFC career could not have started better with wins over Raphael Assuncao and Jonathan Brookins and regardless of injuries keeping him out bouts with Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier he was next in line to get a crack at Jose Aldo and his featherweight title. Seemingly on the verge of glory the wheels on Koch’s MMA journey came to an abrupt stop.
His bout with Jose Aldo at UFC 149 was cancelled and rescheduled due to Aldo having to withdraw from the bout with an undisclosed injury. The rescheduled meeting between the two was meant to happen at UFC 153 but this time, it was Koch who had to pull out of the bout with an injury and subsequently would never get another bite at UFC gold. Things went from bad to worse for the Iowa native as he would lose two very important fights to Ricardo Lamas, who would go on to challenge for Aldo’s title and Dustin Poirier who is currently on the cusp of title contention at 155-pounds. A loan TKO win over Rafaello Oliviera at UFC 170 has been overshadowed by a violent KO loss to Daron Cruickshank as well as more injury troubles which kept him out of bouts with Ramsey Nijem, Drew Dober and Joe Proctor at UFC on FOX 16, UFC 195 and UFC Fight Night 88 respectively.
Two years after his loss to Cruickshank the one-time prospect is ready to start over. While bad luck has kept Koch (14-4) out of the cage it is his time inside of it that keeps both fans and media mesmerised. Koch has the necessary skills to begin a run at the title but now its in the hands of fate.
Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”
Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:
Just make sure you don’t put cooking oil all over your body like Anderson did so it’ll be easy to grab ahold of you @lyotomachidafw 👌
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 17, 2017
Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”
Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.
“Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”
Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.
Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217
UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.
The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:
— Ovince Saint Preux (@003_OSP) October 19, 2017
It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.
Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.
Fight News update!!
— UFC (@ufc) October 19, 2017
This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.
With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th? Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.
*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results
Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.
Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.
Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)
Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)
Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)
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