Fans looking forward to the scheduled co-main event fight at UFC 135 on Sept. 24 in Denver were dealt a big blow when Diego Sanchez broke his hand and was forced to pull out with just over two weeks away from showtime, leaving Matt Hughes in the lurch.
They may not be disappointed for long, though.
That's because UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has a direct line to a certain fighter in the welterweight division who has been champing at the bit to not only climb back inside the cage but has been calling out Hughes for years.
"Kos" is healthy and finally ready to return to the Octagon for the first time since getting his face broken by Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre back in Dec. 2010. And there's no man he would rather do it against than Hughes, even if it means taking the fight on less than three week's notice.
But will Hughes accept the bout? If he's "man enough," he will. That's what Koscheck told USA Today just last night:
"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. 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. I think he'll do it. I think he'll take the fight."
If you think this is Koscheck simply trying to get his turn at the bone before it disappears for good, you would be wrong. He's been calling out the former welterweight champion for a long time.
In fact, the first time he did so publicly was back in 2009 after he knocked out Frank Trigg and Hughes had re-signed with the UFC. He claimed at that time that he had been wanting the fight for years. His requests were denied and eventually swept under the table.
The UFC has turned to Koscheck to help get them out of a pinch and he's more than willing to step up to the plate. But will Hughes play ball? He didn't want the fight back in 2009, why would he want it a full two years later?
Stay tuned, Maniacs.