By Thomas Gerbasi
Welterweight contender Diego Sanchez has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 90 bout against Thiago Alves due to torn rib cartilage, but the October 25th co-feature bout is not lost, as standout 170-pounder Josh Koscheck has stepped up to face Brazil’s “Pitbull” in an equally intriguing welterweight matchup.
“There is nothing worse than having a great fight and then having one of the fighters drop out at the last second,” said UFC President Dana White. “But the one thing the UFC has proven time and time again is our ability to replace fights with ones as good as or better than the original fight, and we’ve done it again with the highly-ranked Josh Koscheck stepping up to replace Diego Sanchez against welterweight wrecking machine Thiago Alves. Hats off to Josh and Thiago, as not many fighters would agree to a matchup this tough on such short notice.”
A native of Fortaleza, Brazil, who now makes his home in Coconut Creek, Florida, the 25-year old Alves (21-4) is currently riding a six fight winning streak that includes knockout victories over Matt Hughes and Karo Parisyan. But he will be put to the test by Koscheck next week.
“Josh Koscheck is a great fighter and I think he’s an even better matchup for me,” said Alves. “I’m looking forward to fighting him, and I’m gonna knock him out.”
Fresno, California’s Koscheck (13-2), a 2001 NCAA Division I wrestling champion, is on a bit of a winning streak himself, having stopped Dustin Hazelett and decisioned Chris Lytle already in 2008. A win over Alves will put the 30-year old even closer to a shot at the welterweight crown, but first things first, and his focus is squarely on his October 25th foe.
“I think he’s a tough opponent,” said Koscheck. “He’s on a tear right now in the UFC and for me to step up and fight him, I think it’s gonna be an exciting fight. I’ve been in training since Chris Lytle, I haven’t taken any time off, and he’s a tough guy, so I’ve got to come in and fight him at my ‘A’ game.”
Tickets for UFC 90, which is headlined by the UFC middleweight title bout between Anderson Silva and Patrick Cote, are on sale now.
Sanchez Out; Koscheck Steps in to Face Alves at UFC 90
Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - Welterweight contender Diego Sanchez has been forced to withdraw from his UFC 90 bout against Thiago Alves due to torn rib cartilage, but the October 25th co-feature bout is not lost, as standout 170-pounder Josh Koscheck has stepped up to face Brazil’s “Pitbull” in an equally intriguing welterweight matchup.