Leading up to a fight hyped by seemingly endless trash talk from
Koscheck, UFC welterweight champion Georges St.
Pierre promised to do his talking with his fists inside the
The champion did precisely that on Saturday night, using a snapping
left jab to blow up Koscheck’s right eye en route to a five-round
unanimous decision victory in the main event of
UFC 124 at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
“I don’t know how many fights I’ve seen in the last 10 years, [and
I don't think I’ve ever seen a fight] where one guy closes the
other guy’s eye with a jab,” said UFC President Dana White at the
post-fight press conference. “He picked Koscheck apart. Picked him
apart. You couldn’t give one round to Koscheck.”
The jab has long been discussed as one of the most underutilized
weapons in mixed martial arts. On Saturday, St. Pierre rifled his
at will, battering the American Kickboxing Academy product from
bell to bell. Despite his dominant performance, the champion
remained dissatisfied that the bout went to the scorecards.
“I wanted to finish with a knockout or a submission. He’s very
tough. I closed his right eye, so I was going a lot with the hook
and the high left kick,” said the victorious champion. “He’s very
good. My punches didn’t land on his chin as much as I wanted. It
was a good fight, but I wanted to finish him. That was my
Koscheck, while possessing power in his right hand, had no answer
for the laser-like, straightforward attack of the champion.
“He throws his punches circular,” said St. Pierre. “I knew to beat
him, I needed to stay outside behind my jab. [If I exchanged
punches with him] it would be the same thing as flipping a coin. I
wasn't going to take that risk and get knocked out. My game does
not rely on chance. I don’t gamble when I fight. I try to put all
the odds on my side.”
St. Pierre and Koscheck, who served as opposing coaches on the
twelfth installment of “The Ultimate Fighter,” originally met at
UFC 74 in 2007. While St. Pierre dominated the first bout with his
wrestling, it was his striking that turned away the four-time NCAA
All-American in the rematch. After the fight, the pair embraced,
apparently burying the hatchet.
“There was a lot of talk, but he apologized for the things he said
to build up the fight. I said, ‘Thank you for coming.’ I need Josh
to do what I do for a living,” said St. Pierre. “Without him, I
would not make money and you guys would have no entertaining fight.
At the end of the day, it’s business.”
As has become routine, both St. Pierre and White fielded questions
at the conference regarding a super-fight between the French
Canadian and UFC middleweight champion Anderson
Silva. Both White and St. Pierre said they were open to the
idea, but the welterweight champ has no interest in a one-night
stand at middleweight.
“It’s complicated,” said St. Pierre. “If I go up, I’m going to have
to put more muscle on my body, because I think I’m too small [for
185]. If I go up, I want to stay at 185. When you go up and down --
you see what it happened to [former boxing champion] Roy Jones --
it messes up the reaction time. In boxing, [weight classes] are
like seven pounds. In MMA, it’s 15 pounds.”