UFC 143: Mike Pierce isn't a big fight for Josh Koscheck, eyes future showdowns with Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort

Josh Koscheck (Pictured) takes on Mike Pierce this weekend (Feb, 4, 2012) at UFC 143 at Mandalay Bay Events center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo of Koscheck by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting.

It seems that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Josh Koscheck is finding it a little hard to get motivated for his upcoming opponent, Mike Pierce, who he battles at UFC 143 this weekend (Feb, 4, 2012) at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Kos," who is coming off of a first round destruction of former UFC welterweight champion and UFC hall of Famer Matt Hughes at UFC 135 this past September, was originally set to take on Carlos Condit this weekend, but an injury to UFC Welterweight Champion George St. Pierre caused a reshuffling of the card and Condit was bumped to the main event slot opposite Nick Diaz, leaving Koscheck without an opponent.

Pierce took advantage of the unfortunate circumstances and asked for -- and received -- a fight with the former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant, a fight Koscheck feels he has trouble seeing as a big fight.

Speaking to MMA Heat after the UFC 143 open workouts in "Sin City," the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained fighter says that he is only interested in big fights at this point in his career, even if it's going up to middleweight and challenging a couple of legends of the sport.

Check it out:

"I'd like to take big fights. You know I think that's the biggest thing for me right now is taking big fights. This guy (Mike Pierce) isn't a big fight for me, but, I accepted the challenge. So guess what, inside my brain, I have to motivate myself to put him as a big fight. Because if I lose to him where does that put me in the division? Way at the back. I might as well think about retiring if I lose to this guy, or just take fights for money. Obviously I fight for money, I'm kind of a gold digger. So, show me the money. Regardless of the big I fight at 185, which I'd love to have, you know, I'd love to fight some of those guys. I think Vitor Belfort would be a great fight for me. I think Wanderlei (Silva) would be a fun fight for the fans. I just want to please people you know, put on good performances, have hype, and get excited about training because training sucks so bad. It's Ground hog day everyday you know. You want to have a purpose and a reason to go to that gym. At the end of the day, you get to slap somebody in the face."

With an astounding 19 fights in his UFC career, Koscheck has received only one title shot against 170-pound kingpin Georges St. Pierre at UFC 124, which he lost via unanimous decision. He had previously suffered another decision lost to "Rush" at UFC 74, in what was not a title fight.

However, before he can go up in weight to challenge the likes of Vitor Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, Koscheck still has business to tend to, and that is a very tough, Mike Pierce at UFC 143.

That's no small task.

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