Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
After an action-packed UFC 157 event in Anaheim, California, plenty of fighters are still feeling the post-fight buzz, but Josh Koscheck is likely suffering from the worst post-fight hangover after dropping his second consecutive bout for the first time in his career. And it couldn't have come at a worse time.
Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone with UFC 157: "Rousey vs. Carmouche," the latest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pay-per-view (PPV) event, which emanated from the Honda Center last Saturday night (Feb. 23, 2013) in Anaheim, California.
In what was an exciting and historic night of fights, fans were treated to the first-ever women's title fight inside the Octagon as Ronda Rousey defended her bantamweight strap against a very game Liz Carmouche, beating her in the very first round via her trademark armbar.
See it happen here.
Aside from "Girl-Rilla," there were plenty of other fighters licking their wounds after heart-breaking losses, including Dan Henderson, who lost out on his long-desired title fight to Lyoto Machida. In addition, Ivan Menjivar said bye-bye to the 135-pound "mix" after getting choked out by Urijah Faber in the very first round.
The night was filled with a total of 12 combatants going home with a loss, forced to deal with the ill effects of coming up short. But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now two days removed?
The former No. 1 welterweight contender suffered a first-round technical knockout (TKO) loss to Strikeforce import Robbie Lawler in what was a "Ruthless" return to 170 pounds and second-stint for the promotion after almost a 10-year hiatus.
In what looked to be a wrestling clinic put on by "Kos" early on, Lawler was able to hurt his foe with a sneaky knee, then proceeded to deliver some powerful haymakers which forced a somewhat-controversial stoppage from the referee four minutes into round one.
The loss marked two straight for one of the original Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season one contestants, starting with his departure from the famed American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) camp, then losing to Johny Hendricks at UFC on Fox 3 nine months prior to welcoming Lawler back into the Octagon.
Any loss is devastating and normally, a big "name" fighter like Koscheck dropping two straight isn't necessarily the worst thing in the world. However, these days, with the promotion laying down the gauntlet and threatening to release anyone who isn't' living up to expectations, it could be catastrophic.
Could Koscheck actually be in danger of being handed his walking papers? It depends on how you look at it.
According to UFC President Dana White's reasoning for letting longtime veteran Jon Fitch go after suffering a unanimous decision loss at Demian Maia at UFC 156, saying the 34-year old Fitch is on the "downside" of his career and isn't a "cheap" guy to keep around, Koscheck sure fits the criteria.
So, let's draw some comparison, shall we?
Koscheck and Fitch, who are very good friends as well as former stablemates at AKA, are only a year apart in age, with the former being one year the elder at 35. If we dissect their respective last 10 bouts, they're pretty much identical, with Jon's record standing at 6-3-1 while Koscheck is at 6-4.
Within those 10 contests, they each have a loss to current welterweight kingpin, Georges St. Pierre, in what were their first and only title fights within the promotion. In the latest official UFC rankings, Koscheck landed in the number eight spot while Fitch was right behind him at number nine.
Now, the payroll.
One of the contributing factors in releasing Fitch, according to White, was the price tag that came with him. Fitch was paid $66,000 for his services at UFC 156. For his bout against Mike Pierce at UFC 143, Koscheck was paid a guaranteed $73,000 to show and earned another $73,000 to win.
So, if my math is correct, as far as guaranteed show money is concerned, "Kos"earns $7,000 more than Fitch and could go up to an extra $14,000 difference with a win. Though the official UFC 157 fighter purses have yet to be made public, it's safe to assume Josh received around the same amount of coin for his bout against "Ruthless."
Personally, I don't think Koscheck will or should get cut, and, for what it's worth, I didn't think Fitch deserved to get the boot, either.
True, the leader of Dethrone Base Camp has lost his last two fights, but one came via razor-thin split decision to "Bigg Rigg" which could have easily gone his way. The other was his first-round TKO loss to the heavy-handed Lawler and many would argue it was an early stoppage.
Koscheck, at 35-years of age, still has plenty of drive and fight left in him to get it done on the biggest stage of them all and has the ability to get back on track with the flip of a switch, or, in his case, the swing of a punch, which could be the big difference between him and Fitch.
"Kos" has four finishes over his last 10 fights, Fitch doesn't have any.
Having said that, I'd like to see him square off against Nick Diaz should the "Stockton Slugger" come up short against St. Pierre at next month's title fight at UFC 158. They both would be coming off back-to-back losses and Josh and Team Diaz have expressed interest in the fight, before.
But, the question remains: If Fitch was let go for the reasons stated above, is "Kos," who almost mirrors his training-partners stats as of late, in danger of getting released, too?
Or will Jon Fitch remain a very high-profile isolated incident?