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Tag: Erik Koch

Ranking the ‘UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson’ Fights by My Own Interest Level


(“Thanks Jay. Joining me now backstage is none other than…uh…wait a minute. You’re Anderson Silva’s son, right?”)

If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs on FOX over the last couple weekends, you’ve surely noticed the frequent UFC promos throughout the broadcasts hyping a “World Title Fight” on January 26th between “Johnson and Dodson.” At no point is the word “flyweight” ever mentioned — because that would be a turnoff to casual fans, I guess? — and in most of the live promos I’ve seen, Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson‘s first names aren’t even included. Basically, they’re hoping that the mere promise of a “title fight” will be enough to lure some football fans into tuning in this Saturday night, even if those viewers have no idea who the headliners are, or what belt they’ll be fighting for specifically.

By sticking to the ironclad rule that a title fight will always get headlining-priority no matter who else is fighting on the card — a policy that previously drew some fan-criticism when Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche was given the UFC 157 main event spot over Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida — the UFC has painted themselves into a corner. Johnson and Dodson simply aren’t as well-known, marketable, or admired as some of the other fighters competing at UFC on FOX 6, namely Quinton Jackson, Donald Cerrone, and Anthony Pettis.

It’s a problem, because TV ratings and buyrates are so closely tied to who’s headlining each event. Instead of perhaps making Rampage vs. Teixeira or Cerrone vs. Pettis the headliner, the UFC is choosing to keep things vague (“world title fight!” “Johnson!”) and hope for the best. We’ll see if that proves to be the right decision, or if the ratings will plunge compared to the strong showing of UFC on FOX 5. I know the UFC wants to pump up its budding flyweight division, but I can’t help wondering if they’re doing themselves a disservice when there’s so little heat around that weight class. Could they re-consider their “championship fight always gets the main event” policy down the road?

Since I’ve been thinking about this lately, I’ve decided to present my own rundown of which fights I’m actually looking forward to this weekend. If you see things differently, please hurl some abuse at me in the comments section. Let’s begin…

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Booking Roundup: Koch vs. Lamas, Pickett vs. Wineland, + More Paired for UFC 155


(A bit of insider info: The tattoo on Koch’s right arm stands for Zeitgeist, while the one on the left stands for Honey Boo Boo child. True story.) 

It may not come as a shock to any of you, but needless to say, UFC 155 a.k.a the UFC’s annual New Year’s Eve card is looking pretty stacked at this point. Sure, we will lose at least half of these fights to injury, but for the time being we are going to revel in these awesome matchups God damn it and there’s nothing you can do to stop us la la la la we can’t hear you!

Just last week, we announced that Phil Davis would be stepping in to replace Chael Sonnen against Forrest Griffin in the night’s co-main event, and today, a whole slew of interesting matchups were announced, starting with Erik Koch vs Ricardo Lamas.

If you recall, Koch has spent roughly ten years on the shelf due to injury, yet despite this, was in line to receive the next shot at Jose Aldo. Then Jose got injured, then the bout was rescheduled, then Koch injured himself again, then Jose got injured again. My God, that was as depressing an assessment of the current UFC landscape as I’ve ever written. In any case, it appears that Koch will finally return to action on New Year’s against fellow top contender Ricardo Lamas, who is fresh off a victory over Hatsu Hioki at UFC on FX 4. Koch and Lamas find themselves in a very similar position coming into this fight — both are relatively unknown by casual fans yet will likely earn the next featherweight title shot with a win — so expect both guys to try and make a statement with this fight, or at the minimum, talk a lot of shit to Jose Aldo afterward.

In other UFC 155 news…

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Erik Koch Injured, Frankie Edgar vs. Jose Aldo Booked for UFC 153 Title Fight [!!!]


(And he *still* looks like the smaller fighter. / Photo via MMAJunkie)

We had a feeling that dropping to featherweight would be Frankie Edgar‘s quickest path to another title shot — we just didn’t think it would happen this fast. As first reported by USA Today, Edgar will step in to face Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title at UFC 153 (October 13th, Rio de Janeiro), after original challenger Erik Koch was forced to withdraw due to an undisclosed injury.

If Edgar is victorious, he will become just the third fighter in UFC history (after Randy Couture and BJ Penn) to win a belt in two separate weight classes. We feel awful for Koch — who has already been inactive for nearly a year due to injuries and postponements — but you have to admit that this is one of the rare times in which an injury to a main event fighter results in a more compelling matchup. Said UFC president Dana White of the booking:

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Aldo vs. Koch Featherweight Title Bout Re-Scheduled for UFC 153 in October


(That logo is either a pun on “coke head,” “cock head,” or “head cook.” Whatever the case, he has it tattooed on his arm as well, and if I ever see him in person, I’m not gonna say shit about it. / Props: @NEWBREED04)

As you may recall, this weekend’s UFC 149 event was originally supposed to be headlined by the featherweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch — until Aldo felt the cold hand of The Curse. The UFC has now confirmed that the bout has been re-scheduled for UFC 153, which will go down October 13th at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Aldo will be looking to make his fourth UFC title defense, following his knockout of Chad Mendes at UFC 142 in January.

Though both fighters are now coming off of injury layoffs, Koch’s return to action at UFC 153 will mark the end of a 13-month hiatus — an eternity in fighter-time. And now he’ll be challenging Aldo in the hippo-infested waters of the HSBC, instead of the neutral grounds of Calgary. Yikes. Just do your best, Erik.

At this point, UFC 153 is also expected to feature Glover Teixeira vs. Quinton Jackson, Jussier da Silva vs. Ulysses Gomez, Cristiano Marcello vs. Reza Madadi, and the return of TUF Brazil winners Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira and Rony “Jason” Mariano Bezerra.

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UFC 149 Injury Report: Bibiano Fernandes Out, Koch Off the Card to Wait for Aldo [UPDATED]


(Fernandes came down with a sudden case of “wandering into Stockton by accident and getting his fuckin’ ass beat.”)

UPDATE, 11:46 a.m. ET: And now, Bibiano Fernandes is denying that he signed with the UFC in the first place. Huh…

How powerful is the 2012 UFC Injury Curse? It’s now attacking fighters who have just signed with the promotion. One week after DREAM bantamweight champ Bibiano Fernandes was inked to face Roland Delorme in his Octagon debut at UFC 149 (July 21st, Calgary), Bibi has withdrawn due to an injury suffered in training. Delorme is expected to remain on the UFC 149 card, against an opponent to be named later.

One big name who won’t be sticking around is Erik Koch, the featherweight contender who was originally slated to challenge for Jose Aldo’s belt at the event. Instead of taking a fight against a late-replacement, MMA Weekly reports that Koch will withdraw from the card and wait for Aldo to recover. Aldo reportedly suffered a thigh strain while preparing for the fight, and won’t be out for an extended period of time. But since Koch hasn’t competed since his decision win over Jonathan Brookins last September, he might be looking at a total layoff of a year or more — not an ideal situation when you’re heading into your first title fight.

Any guesses on who the UFC Injury Curse will strike next? You have to figure that at some point It will run out of fighters to ruin and move on to peripheral figures like ring girls and announcers. Please, please be careful with that thing, Bruce…

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The UFC 149 Injury Curse Strikes Again: Jose Aldo Out, Faber vs. Barao New Main Event


For the last time, Joe: One of these guys is a fictional character and the other one has a shoulder injury.

At this point, do we even need to update our most cursed MMA events of all time list to include UFC 149? Calling this card “injury plagued” is as brilliant of an observation as saying that airline food is typically not of high quality. For those of you who have lost track of the fighters who have pulled out of bouts on this card due to injury, allow me to quickly refresh your memory: Vitor Belfort, Thiago Silva, Thiago Alves, and Michael Bisping.

And now you can add UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo to that list as well.

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[VIDEO] Full UFC 149 Press Conference From Calgary


(We’re sorry, Tom, but it’s just not the same. Photo courtesy of MMAMania.)

Just a couple of hours ago, the UFC held a press conference in Shaw Court, Alberta, Canada, to promote UFC 149: Jose Aldo vs. Some Guy (it’s a joke, take it easy), which is expected to transpire on July 21st from Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Surprisingly absent from the conference was that of UFC President Dana White, who was in turn replaced by Director of Operations for UFC Canada, Tom Wright. Also absent was a hearty supply of French fries and gravy for the fighters involved, which was a real shame in our opinion.

In the co-main event of the evening, the most hated wanted man in the middleweight division, Michael Bisping, will square off against hard nosed slugger Tim Boetsch. Also expected for UFC 149 will be Antonio Rodrigo’s Nogueria’s return to the octagon for the first time since Frank Mir went all Paul Harris on his arm, the difference between their UFC 140 scrap and the average Paul Harris fight being that Nog waited until after Mir broke his arm to tap, not the other way around. Anyway, Big Nog will be squaring off against the inconsistent but always dangerous Cheick Kongo, who is coming off a knockout loss at the hands of Mark Hunt at UFC 144.

Check out the full video and lineup after the jump. 

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Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Thiago Silva Likely for UFC 149; Aldo vs. Koch Slated for Main Event


(Rua slugs Dan Henderson during their epic bout in November. / Photo courtesy of Heavy)

A matchup between Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Thiago Silva is likely for July 21st’s UFC 149 event in Calgary, according to a new report on MMA Junkie. UFC president Dana White tweeted yesterday that the two light-heavyweight strikers would face one another, but didn’t confirm the date or venue.

Silva is coming off of a one-year suspension and a decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson. Winless since his 2009 knockout of Keith Jardine, Silva’s contract may very well be on the line here. Shogun’s last bout, a five-round war/decision loss to Dan Henderson, was widely considered to be the greatest fight in MMA history until this past weekend.

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Yeah, So Hatsu Hioki Actually Turned Down a Title Shot Against Jose Aldo

In case you missed the update to yesterday’s rumor, top-five featherweight Hatsu Hioki will be facing Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida (June 22nd, Atlantic City), and Erik Koch is indeed the leading candidate to be the next challenger to Jose Aldo‘s belt.

If it seems that Koch is being pushed to a title shot a little too soon — especially coming off of a lengthy injury layoff — well, it’s not his fault. As UFC president Dana White explained to FOX Sports, Hioki was next in line, but insisted on getting “one more test before going for the belt.”

Let us now dissect the wisdom of Hioki’s decision…

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Jose Aldo Likely to Defend Featherweight Title Against Erik Koch


(Photo courtesy of MMAWeekly)

Jose Aldo‘s next opponent is close to being finalized, and from what we hear, it won’t be Hatsu Hioki or Frankie Edgar. A source close to Roufusport MMA Academy has informed CagePotato.com that 145-pound contender Erik Koch has been sent a contract to challenge Aldo for the UFC featherweight title. The fight would likely take place at UFC 147 in Brazil.

Until we can confirm this report with one of the fighters themselves, treat it as a rumor for now. We’ve contacted Koch’s manager, Mike Roberts of MMA Inc., but have yet to receive a response. Stay tuned.

Koch (13-1) is 2-0 in the UFC, including his Knockout of the Night win against Raphael Assuncao and a unanimous decision over TUF 12 winner Jonathan Brookins last September. He was scheduled to return against Dustin Poirier at UFC 143 in February, but had to withdraw due to injury.

Update: Hatsu Hioki will be facing Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FX 4, and Aldo vs. Koch is now very likely.

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