December 11, 2008

Koscheck puts Yoshida on dream street at UFC Fight Night 16

There was a time when Josh Koscheck was considered a top-notch wrestler and not much else. With a vicious knockout of Yoshiyuki Yoshida on Wednesday night, Koscheck reminded everyone that he has greatly expanded his arsenal of MMA skills.

Only six weeks removed from a loss to Thiago Alves, Koscheck got back in the win column with a pair of right hands that knocked Yoshida out cold in the main event of UFC Fight Night 16 in Fort Bragg, N.C.

The UFC gave away tickets to members of the United States military for the show -- subtitled "Fight for the Troops" -- and spent a large portion of the live TV broadcast soliciting donations for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, a charity that supports the families of soldiers killed in battle, as well as severely wounded soldiers and veterans.

"What an honor to fight in front of all you guys out there," Koscheck (12-3-0, 10-3-0 UFC) said of the servicemen and women in the audience.

Both fighters seemed content to bang it out, with Yoshida (10-3-0, 1-1-0 UFC) keeping his left hand up in anticipation of Koscheck's old standby, the looping right hand. Koscheck managed to connect on several shots anyway, including a straight right that put Yoshida on rubber legs.

Out on his feet, Yoshida dropped his hands long enough for Koscheck to measure up with another crushing right, putting his opponent's lights out for good at 2:15 of the first round.

"I knew he was looking for the overhand right a lot, so I just kind of focused on throwing straight punches," Koscheck said.

Between the Alves and Yoshida fights, Koscheck's UFC future was left in doubt after a major blowup between UFC president Dana White and Koscheck's manager Dewayne Zinkin and Koscheck's fight camp, American Kickboxing Academy. Leading up to his win on Wednesday, there were still whispers than Koscheck's time in the UFC could be drawing to a close regardless of whether he won or lost, due to his closeness with Zinkin.

The fight marked Koscheck's 10th UFC win in 13 fights with the organization. It also put an end to Yoshida's nine-fight win streak that began nearly three years ago, and marked the first time Yoshida had ever been knocked out.

Mike "Quick" Swick lived up to his nickname, overwhelming Jonathan Goulet with punches to earn a knockout victory just 33 seconds into the first round.

Swick (13-2-0, 8-1-0 UFC) blasted Goulet repeatedly with both fists until a right hand crumbled Goulet to his knees. Goulet (22-10-1, 4-4-0 UFC) clung to Swick's leg, but was unable to do much else as Swick kept hammering on his head and face, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to stop the bout.

The victory was Swick's third in a row since cutting to 170 pounds after a middleweight loss to Yushin Okami in April 2007. Swick attributed the convincing win to the fact that he's finally back at 100 percent following surgery to correct a nagging elbow injury.

"I'm healthy, I'm in great shape, and I feel really confident right now," he said.

Source: Sports Line

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