After spending a whole season of The Ultimate Fighter taunting Georges St.Pierre tonight Josh Koscheck had to make it count in the cage, but GSP showed that actions speak louder than words.
A strong stepping jab was GSP’s weapon of choice in the opening round, and it proved to be extremely effective, tagging Koscheck repeatedly throughout the first five minutes and swelling his right eye dramatically. In between landing the jab GSP also scored an early takedown, but Koscheck was quickly back to feet, and showed his own wrestling credentials by stuffing his next two attempts and towards the end of the round getting the champion on his back thanks to a hard won takedown against the cage.
In round two there was more of the same, and Koscheck appeared unable to come up with an answer to the jab, relying too much on his own looping overhand right which GSP had clearly prepared for and was defending well. To add to his woes Koscheck’s eye was now completely swollen over and still being tagged repeatedly. Towards the end of the round the Canadian also began to bring in some head kicks into the equation and some straight rights as he continued to focus on his striking rather than wrestling.
In the third St.Pierre fought a little more conservatively to begin with, attempting a takedown that was well defended by Koscheck before then switching to just clinching with him against the fence. Given the fact that fight could be going five rounds it was perhaps a smart strategic choice. Towards the end of the round he once again moved back to working the jab, continuing where he had left off in previous rounds.
In-between the third and fourth rounds the doctors took a long look at Koscheck’s badly swollen right eye, but after some tense moments he was given the go-ahead to continue.
Normal service resumed in the fourth and Koscheck looks demoralized as he continues to be nailed with jabs repeatedly. Taking advantage of the fact that he can’t see out of his right eye St.Pierre was also now finding a home for his left hook from time to time and was also continuing to fire off fast kicks to that side as well. Even Koscheck’s bombing right hand was rarely being rarely seen now as he instead used it to protect his face. The end result was that he continued to be used as a human heavybag.
In the final round Koscheck has nothing to offer offensively but to his credit remained standing and wouldn’t quit. That left GSP to continue to pick away at him, leaving his opponent wincing in pain at every successfully landed strike until mercifully the final bell sounded.
The result was inevitable – 50-45 on all three judges cards.
GSP may not have claimed the stoppage inside the distance that he had been hoping for, but he couldn’t have asked for a more dominating five round display than this, and he looked no worse for wear afterwards. On reflection it’s likely to be a satisfying performance given that he shrugged off the stigma that he now only relied on his wrestling to win fights.
As for Koscheck, he showed plenty of heart but looked short on ideas, and was simply outclassed in the striking realm by the champion. After being outclassed in the wrestling department in their first encounter that’s likely to be a bitter pill to swallow for the challenger.
All credit to him for dropping his villain act and paying his respects to GSP after the fight though.