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Diego Sanchez Out of UFC 135 Co-Main Event Against Matt Hughes; Josh Koscheck Verbally Agrees to Replace Him

(Listen to the first thing that Diego says in this video. Is it just me, or is the dude starting to sound like Kevin from ‘The Office’?)

Less than three weeks before his scheduled meeting with Matt Hughes at UFC 135: Jones vs. Rampage (September 24th, Denver), Diego Sanchez was pulled from the event yesterday due to a broken hand suffered in training. Coming off back-to-back decision victories over Paulo Thiago and Martin Kampmann — both of which netted him Fight of the Night awards — Sanchez released a statement explaining just how bummed he is:

I am heartbroken that I have to inform MMA fans that I cannot fight Matt Hughes at UFC 135 later this month. I have never physically felt more prepared to compete than I felt for this fight, which makes this even more painful for me. While I do not know right now when I will return, I want to assure all of the fans out there that I will be back in the Octagon as soon as I am 100-percent healthy.”

But in the distance, a savior appears…

Shortly after Sanchez’s pull-out was announced, fellow welterweight contender Josh Koscheck confirmed that he had accepted an offer to replace “The Dream” against Hughes. Koscheck, who hasn’t competed since his crushing loss to Georges St. Pierre last December, was previously rumored to return in November as a middleweight. But it looks like his timetable just got a lot shorter — that is, if Hughes is willing to accept the fight, which he hasn’t yet. As Koscheck told USA Today:

It’s a fight that I’ve been wanting for a long time. Now we’ve just got to wait and see if Matt Hughes will accept the fight. So we’re waiting on him…

I’m healthy. I have no reason not to accept this fight if Matt Hughes wants it. It’s like Dana White always says: Your job is to fight no matter what. I’m a fighter, and whether I’ve got to fight on a week’s notice or six months’, doesn’t matter. My job is to go out there and fight and win

I’m just looking for this opportunity, and hopefully Matt Hughes will step up and take the fight for the fans and the UFC

I’m a big-name fighter, so he can take that and run with it. I put it out there. I told UFC I’d do it, and if Matt Hughes is man enough, he’ll step up and do it

He wants big-name fighters. He’s getting near the end of his career. I think he’ll take the fight because it’s good for the sport and good for the UFC.

We’ll update you when the fight is a done deal. So what do you think? Is Koscheck vs. Hughes a satisfying replacement for Sanchez vs. Hughes?

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Todd M- September 6, 2011 at 10:32 pm
@ GistoftheFist, Yeah whup was probably not the best word, what I meant was Koscheck will get a more decisive victory than there first fight. As for the TUF fight, well it was an amateur fight when Josh was just beginning his career, where as Diego knew the game of MMA quite well. I think Kos beating him when they fought again proves Kos had evolved more than Diego at that point and I think he's evolved even further at this point in time. I didn't know Diego was unhealthy the first time around, I do remember him being a little sluggish though so I definatley agree Diego was at a dissadvantage. That said I couldn't see Diego having much luck striking with Kos if they fought again and he ain't taking him down.
@ Eddi, I don't speak for everyone but the reason I can't stand Hughes is his holier than thou attitude and constant bible bashing. Hughes comes off like a jock prick and has an annoying smug smile which is unbearable. Remember on TUF 2 when he threw Jason Von Flue to the wolves setting him up with Gurgel, and then Von Flue beat that ass, and he still couldn't give him a compliment, and then sent him off his team? How about when his own teamate and first pick Mike Whitehead didn't perform up to his expectations?, he basically told him don't come back to Miletich camp. Hughes is a bad ass MMA fighter no doubt, one of the most legit champs ever, but when god was giving him talent he must have forgot to give him some humility as well.
Motivated Penn- September 6, 2011 at 9:48 am
I wish he did that gnarly neck twitch he did in the start of UFC: Sanchez vs Kampmann
Eddi- September 6, 2011 at 9:34 am
I'm one of those rare Matt Hughes fans and I would love to see this fight happen even though i feel Koscheck clearly has the edge. I don't understand why people hate on Hughes. He was a great, inspirational champ. Had one of the longest reigns as champ. He was the most effective champ out of all the champs with a wrestling background. Is it really because he said a dick think to GSP on tuf?
Lesnarischamp- September 6, 2011 at 9:32 am
so Hughes might finally fight one of the AKA guys.. maybe, they've been calling him out forever..
RwilsonR- September 6, 2011 at 9:30 am
I'd rather not see Matt Hughes fight either guy. They are all in different places in their careers. Kos should be fighting Thiago Alves again.
Me likey- September 6, 2011 at 9:05 am
i think kos has evolved more than diego. both of them are turds but i still dislike diego more. he is just such a simipleton.
GistoftheFist- September 6, 2011 at 8:33 am
@Todd

Which first time are you thinking of? Diego crushed him in TUF, and when they got a rematch Diego had thought he had hepatitus and got a massive staph infection after the fight. Wasn't no 'whup' when you fight a sick fighter.
danomite- September 6, 2011 at 8:10 am
is he going to be able to make weight? he was asking for a fight at 185 just a few weeks ago wasn't he?
Todd M- September 6, 2011 at 7:34 am
^ I think Kos would whup Diego worse than the first time
Me likey- September 6, 2011 at 7:31 am
kos will ko him but i still like the match up. i don't mind seeing either one lose. i just hope it sets up a fight between kos and sanchez. i would really like to see that rematch.
Todd M- September 6, 2011 at 6:50 am
Kos is gunna motorboat his ass
SquidInk- September 6, 2011 at 6:33 am
I really hope I end up proven wrong by Hughes, but I think Kos takes this easily considering the point they're each at in their careers. I hope Hughes wins, but I seriously doubt that's going to happen.
blackboxmma- September 6, 2011 at 6:21 am
its always fun when guys like tito and hughes become the good guy
El Famous Burrito- September 6, 2011 at 6:16 am
I mean, he's going to say you did anyways, so might as well get something out of it.
El Famous Burrito- September 6, 2011 at 6:15 am
Poke him in the eye, Hughes.
AndyInflammatory- September 6, 2011 at 5:40 am
Good lord that makes more sense that Hughes vs Sanchez. Shitty old Koscheck has called Hughes out before hasnt he?

And I don't care who wins, so conversely, I'm happy whoever loses.
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