UFC 135 Results: Koscheck KOs Hughes, Where Does He Rank Among the Elite at 170?

Andrew BarrCorrespondent ISeptember 24, 2011

After nearly a year away from the Octagon, Josh Koscheck is back and looking good.

Tonight at UFC 135, Koscheck took on MMA legend Matt Hughes and won the fight, knocking Hughes out in the first round.

The fight was a bit more competitive than people expected it to be. Hughes was able to land some solid jabs early in the round and defend a takedown or two, but Koscheck was eventually able to figure out Hughes' timing and land some big punches.

Once Koscheck was able to land some heavy shots, Hughes began to wilt and eventually fell to the canvas.

Once Hughes was down, Koscheck laid some heavy ground and pound on him and that's all she wrote.

This was a good win for Koscheck, but given that Hughes has been on the decline for some time, it's not a victory that holds too much weight.

So, 19 fights into his UFC career, where does Josh Koscheck rank among the UFC's elite?

Call me crazy, but I think Koscheck has the tools to compete with anyone in the welterweight division, even Georges St-Pierre.

It's just a matter of focusing on his strengths.

Over the past few years, Koscheck has fallen in love with striking, but wrestling is his greatest skill.

At UFC 124, Koscheck fought Georges St-Pierre and basically ate jabs for five rounds.

Koscheck was content to keep the fight standing and throw haymakers, but he never had any real success.

However, in the first round of the fight Koscheck scored a takedown on GSP and was able to control him from top position.

Given that he had some success in one area and no success in another, it was borderline shocking that Koscheck didn't focus more on his wrestling.

Koscheck has the best technical wrestling skills in the welterweight division and, when matched against anyone in the division, he has a very good chance of being able to get the fight to the ground.

I don't think Koscheck will ever beat GSP—if he even gets a rematch, which is unlikely—but he has the tools to beat anyone else in the division, or at least give them a run for their money.

Changing camps might be a good idea for him.

Greg Jackson's camp would be ideal as Jackson is a master of helping fighters accentuate their strengths, while filling the holes in their game.

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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