UFC 135: Josh Koscheck Says, "I'm Not Looking to Disrespect Matt Hughes"

Andrew BarrCorrespondent ISeptember 22, 2011

Heading into his highly anticipated fight with MMA legend Matt Hughes, set to take place this Saturday night as the co-maint event of UFC 135, the typically acid-tongued Josh Koscheck has been unusually tame when speaking about his opponent.

"I'm not looking to disrespect Matt Hughes. He's been a good representative of the UFC and of this sport," Koscheck said, when asked why he hadn't been doing much trash talking to hype the fight.

Despite showing some respect for this fellow competitor, Koscheck did hint that, if given more time, he might have talked more smack.

"You really can't start up much in 19 days. As much as I'd like to, just for the fun of it. You know, Matt's a good guy and we have a lot in common. He's a well respected fighter around the sport. It's gonna be a fun fight."

It's not surprising to hear Koscheck say that he'd like to start up some trash talk, despite having no problems with Hughes; he has admitted in the past to manufacturing conflict in order to generate interest in his fights.

During the interview, Koscheck also spoke about his decision to move to the middleweight division, which was put on the back-burner when he decided to take the fight with Hughes.

"One of the reasons why I wanted to up [to middleweight] was because of the fact the everybody at welterweight was tied up. All the top guys were tied up [with other fights], so I was like, 'What's gonna give me some motivation to train hard and get in the gym?'."

Koscheck would go on to reveal that the move to middleweight was exactly what he thought he needed to re-motivate himself.

"We were asking for a number of fights [at middleweight] because I wanted to have motivation to get in there and train. Chris Leben was one of the guys we asked for and Wanderlei Silva was the second guy."

However, all this planning was going on before Koscheck was offered the fight with Hughes and it was a fight he couldn't turn down.

"As for taking this fight with Matt Hughes, this is a fight I think should have happened a long time ago."

Clearly, Koscheck has been hoping for some time that he would get the opportunity to face the UFC Hall-of-Famer and he's excited to finally have that chance.

Some have expressed concern about Koscheck taking this fight on such short notice and speculated on how that could effect his performance, but he is assuring everyone that he is in great shape.

"I've been training for four or five months leading up to this fight. It doesn't feel like I'm taking the fight on 19 days notice because I've been in [training] camp. I'm in shape and I'm looking forward to getting a big win."

Can Koscheck take out one of the greatest welterweight of all-time? Or will Matt Hughes remind the world why he was considered the best welterweight on the planet for so many years?

Tune into UFC 135 this Saturday night and find out.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacherreport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8