Well, balls. One of the few fights I was really looking forward to at UFC 90 has just been canceled:
The UFC’s deep roster affords it the opportunity to come up with great replacement fights once another one goes down in flames. Diego Sanchez is off the UFC 90 card and in steps mortal enemy Josh Koscheck (pictured). Now will the UFC tell the takedown specialist to keep the fight on the feet against Alves a la EliteXC? Probably not. But it does pose a helluva gameplan change for Avles, who’s strength is standing.
I don’t wanna make it sound like I’m not interested in seeing Anderson Silva whup Patrick Cote, but it seems a bit sadistic to really look forward to something like that. Past that we’re gonna get Sherk vs Griffin for the crown of ultimate one dimensional wrestler, and Gray Maynard vs Rich Clementi for who cares I hate them both. Yeah, that fight might not be bad but what can I say? I’ll enjoy it but I’m not hyped for it in the least.
The good news as mentioned above is that Josh Koscheck is coming in, and he presents a whole new slew of problems for Thiago Alves. It’s still a good fight, but the narrative changes quite a bit. The original was “Can Diego Sanchez still be a force at 170? Can he handle someone as big as Thiago Alves?” The new narrative is closer to “Will Koscheck’s wrestling succeed where Matt Hughes’ failed? Does he have more tools in his box?”
Regardless, Alves is still the man to beat in this situation and it will be interesting to see if Koscheck has evolved as much as Joe Rogan is always gushing he has. Props to Alves for taking on all comers and props to Koscheck for seeing an opportunity to jump right back into title contention and taking it.
Update: Looks like I wasn’t the only one looking forward to this … MMAJunkie’s poll had it listed as the most anticipated fight of the month.