According to Mike Roberts, Koch's manager, "New Breed's" next move is still in the dark following his loss to Dustin Poirier this past weekend (Aug. 31, 2013) at UFC 164 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but a move back up to 155 pounds -- Erik's former home -- is "likely."
And the "horrible" weight cutting process Erik has endured to make the 145-pound limit has plenty to do with the decision, as Roberts recently revealed to Bleacher Report:
"The next move, we're talking about it right now, I like to take a few days off and let everybody process it. This is going to be a team decision, me and Erik and Duke (Roufus) are going to get on the horn with each other and see and kind of go from there the best situation for Erik. I think a move to 155 is pretty likely. That cut for Erik is horrible. It's worse for anybody I've ever seen other than when James Irvin cut to 185. It's literally taxing on his body. Erik is lean at 170 pounds walking around, and I just think the cut is a little bit too much for him."
The loss to "Diamond" was Koch's second straight at 145 pounds, losing to Ricardo Lamas at UFC on FOX 6 earlier in the year via technical knockout (TKO). "New Breed" was penciled in to face Jose Aldo at UFC 153 in 2012 for the title, however, an injury forced Koch out of the championship fight.
And following his last two performances, a featherweight title fight is highly unlikely for the foreseeable future.
Should the move become to lightweight become a reality, the competition won't get any easier for Erick, as a talent-filled 155-pound weight class houses plenty of sharks who are ready to welcome him in.
The pending move up to 155 pounds is rather surprising, really, seeing as how his RoufuSport teammate, Anthony Pettis, is now the new division champion after forcing former kingpin Ben Henderson to tap in round one of their title fight last weekend, also at UFC 164.
And judging by his dominating performance (see it again here) against "Smooth" in "Brew City," "Showtime" could be ruling the division for quite some time.