Undisputed UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre might be away from fighting until late 2012 due to him recovering from an injury suffered late last year, but the contenders in the division are all waiting to get a crack at the title, whether it's the official title or the interim belt, which will be on the line this weekend at UFC 143.
For former title challenger Josh Koscheck, who dropped two unanimous decision losses to the pound-for-pound superstar, he isn't hoping for St-Pierre to return anytime soon leading into his bout with Mike Pierce.
"I view it as an opportunity to make some good money," Koscheck told Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com. "I got an opportunity to put myself next in line for the interim title, or working my way back up to that contender's spot, and that's the opportunity I have, so it's a win-win for me."
With the interim welterweight championship on the line this weekend in the main event between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz, Koscheck will look to get his shot at obtaining it. He has to make it through his opponent first, though.
The shot at the interim title may only come if St-Pierre isn't ready to fight the winner of Condit vs. Diaz, and that's a fight the UFC is looking to promote next. After suffering an injury in training leading up to his fight with Condit at UFC 137, St-Pierre was told he would have to sit out for 10 or more months.
The UFC may even decide to stick another top contender in an interim title fight if they don't feel Koscheck is ready.
"I'm interested in the outcome of the Condit-Diaz fight Saturday night," said Koscheck, who has also considered moving up to the middleweight division. "It should be a good fight."
"Hopefully, George is out for more than 10 months, and they can make that interim title holder fight twice," he continued. "Hopefully, he never comes back. ACL surgeries can take a lot out of you, and they say you really, truly never do recover from those. Hopefully, it equals out the playing field and we can get another crack at George."
Koscheck will enter his upcoming bout having come off a first-round knockout win over Matt Hughes from September. That was his first fight since losing to St-Pierre almost a full year before.
"Me and George have always been cool," said Koscheck. "He's a respectable guy, and outside of the cage when we're not fighting, he's a great person. I'm sure we would probably even hang out, eh, probably not. He'd probably say no, but I'd be down to kick it with him."