Yahoo! Sports has an article claiming that Josh Koscheck “wouldn’t mind” dropping to lightweight to take on B.J. Penn at some point in the future. This, apparently, because there is a perceived lack of credible challengers in the UFC’s lightweight division, which is already a questionable thesis to begin with.
But assuming you go along with it, then you’re expected to make the leap to believing that Josh Koscheck is the savior the division needs. Koscheck himself sounds only lukewarm about the idea:
“You never know,” he said, beaming, when confronted about his ability to make the lightweight limit of 155 pounds. “If people would want to see me fight B.J. Penn at 155 for the title, because there is really nobody there for him to fight, I’d do it.”
“I know B.J. very well, but business is business,” Koscheck said. “We’re friends, but at the end of the day, it’s about making money together. If the fans would want to see it, I’d suck it up and I’d live that life to where I’d do whatever I have to do to make 155.”
These statements make Koscheck seem far from eager to go down in weight and face Penn, but what’s interesting is the assertion that there is “really nobody there for him to fight.”
On the surface this seems kind of true, but only because Penn is so dominant right now that we assume whoever claims the number one contender spot will inevitably be destroyed by him. The reality is that the 155-pound division is one of the deepest weight classes in the UFC and the sport as a whole. Maybe Penn will beat every credible challenger in the division, but shouldn’t he do that before we just assume that he will?
B.J. Penn is the lightweight champion, but he’s only defended the title once. Maybe we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves to be desperately looking for someone who can challenge him, just like we’re getting ahead of ourselves to be talking about what Koscheck will do next when he still has a fight in his current division to worry about tonight.
It’s also interesting that on the eve of UFC 86, the story isn’t what’s happening on the undercard so much as what might happen afterwards. That’s usually not a good sign. If people can’t get excited about the fights that are actually taking place tonight, what will that mean for the pay-per-view numbers?
By the way, if you’re wondering how yesterday’s weigh-ins went, the answer is just fine. Everyone made weight, “Rampage” Jackson got booed when he stepped on the scales in Forrest Griffin‘s adopted hometown, and the champ responded thusly:
“All you Rampage haters out there, you better get used to this. I’m going to be around for a long time.”
At least there’s still this title fight to get pumped up about.