UFC 106 started out as one of the most anticipated fight cards of the year but over the past few weeks has been overhauled multiple times due to injuries and fighter health issues.
While the final result may not be the fight card fans were hoping for, this is still a card with some intriguing matchups.
The matchup that has to have fans salivating is between welterweight title contender Josh Koscheck and the explosive youngster Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Johnson is one of the fastest rising stars of the sport and is coming for more less than a month after his destruction of judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
Johnson has the physical gifts and potential to be a serious challenger to Georges St-Pierre’s title, but everyone knows potential means nothing if it is wasted. Just look at the technically gifted Brandon Vera; he has the skill and the confidence to be a great fighter, but he lacks the ability to impose his will and fails to come into fights fully prepared.
Johnson is not Vera, though, as the man they call "Rumble" has the drive and the hunger that will push him to achieve his full potential.
This will be the biggest test of Johnson’s career. Koscheck is a four-time Division I All-American wrestler and a former national champion. Since making the transition to MMA, "Kos" has developed into a dangerous fighter. He eats, sleeps, and breaths MMA now, and when he steps into the cage Saturday night, he will be looking to prove he is worthy of a shot at GSP’s belt.
Too bad for Koscheck, though, because the man standing across the cage from him will be Anthony Johnson.
Rumble has a pretty impressive wrestling background, but it is his standup that makes him so dangerous. Johnson has been under the tutelage of former Strikeforce middleweight champion and sanshou world champion Cung Le. Le has been able to harness Johnson’s raw ability and is slowly turning him into one of the most dynamic strikers in all of MMA.
In order for Johnson to come away victorious, he will need to utilize all of his physical gifts. Being one of the largest welterweights in the UFC, he will need to use that size and strength advantage to punish Koscheck during every clinch and takedown situation.
Rumble needs to force Koscheck to fight his kind of fight. With Kos being deeply in love with his striking as of late, that should not be too difficult.
Johnson will keep this fight upright and punish the blond bomber. With far superior striking and otherworldly athleticism, Johnson will KO Kos.
My friend E. Spencer Kyte has a differing opinion on the outcome; please take a look and judge for yourself.