Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Salty veterans Josh Koscheck (who is 35) and Robbie Lawler (31) both roll into UFC 167 as underdogs.
Despite a pair of revitalizing wins during 2013, Lawler is a 3-to-1 long shot against Rory MacDonald and appears to be positioned as another credible steppingstone on the 24-year-old Canadian’s march to impeccably coiffed greatness. Meanwhile, on the heels of back-to-back losses (one to Hendricks, one to Lawler), Koscheck is plus-101 against longtime Strikeforce trouper Tyron Woodley.
With that in mind, MMA oddsmakers are going to have to recalibrate their prognostication machines after Koscheck and Lawler each score improbable wins for the old guard—Lawls by first-round KO, Kos by hard-fought decision. Eat that, newcomers!
Also, some free career advice: With Koscheck’s standing in the UFC at an all-time low, he’ll eschew the obvious move of requesting a Lawler rematch during his post-fight interview and will instead call out...old nemesis Chris Leben?!?
“Chris,” he’ll say. “We’ve got a lot of unfinished business together. No matter what happens between you and Uriah Hall, let’s meet in Vegas at UFC 171 in March and settle it once and for all.”
Fine, Kos probably won’t do that, but it’d be awesome if he did.
Well, say this for Chad—he's half right.
I can definitely see Josh Koscheck rising, like a particularly ugly phoenix, back to the top of the welterweight division. After all, his two recent losses were to stereotypes as much as they were to people.
First, Koscheck lost a split decision to Johny Hendricks, a fight many people thought he should have emerged from the victor. A controversial decision? Talk about cliche.
Then, in his last bout, Koscheck went and got caught. There's a maxim that small gloves and big power can cause major trouble, even for the best fighters. Lawler proved that true against Koscheck. But anybody can get caught. That it happened to Koscheck isn't of particular concern. He is still a better version of Woodley in every area.
Lawler? That one's tricky. I love Robbie Lawler. Maybe I'm a sucker for the anti-social, but stories about poor Joe Silva trying to get him to say something, anything, during the UFC's pre-fight interview segments always leave me in stitches.
But, even though Dana White once referred to him as the "welterweight Mike Tyson," Robbie is going down and going down hard. Rory MacDonald is going to jab his face off, followed by months and months of speculation about whether or not he's the next kingpin at welterweight.
While I don't have the answer, I'm bored by that particular question already.