UFC on Fuel TV: Zombie vs. Poirier is set to take place Tuesday night with a card that looks to bring a lot of exciting free fights to the masses yet again. Headlining the third installment of mixed martial arts action on Fuel TV courtesy of the UFC is a featherweight match-up between “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung (12-3) and “The Diamond” Dustin Poirier (12-1). Rounding out the main card are the likes of TUF alum Amir Sadollah (5-3), Tachi Palace Fights vet “Lil’ Monster” Jorge Lopez (11-2), lightweight mainstay and multiple-time fight bonus winner “Lil’ Heathen” Jeremy Stephens (20-7), Muay Thai aficionado “Cowboy” Donald Cerrone (17-4), 145lbs. submission artist “Hellbound” Jeff Hougland (10-4), heavy-handed Croatian “The Duke” Igor Pokrajac (24-8), Team Nogueira fighter Fabio Maldonado (18-4), seasoned veteran “The Athlete” Jason MacDonald (25-15), and middleweight jokester “Filthy” Tom Lawlor (7-4). While there certainly will be plenty of entertainment afforded by the main card on Fuel TV, the prelims streamed on Facebook certainly should not be overlooked, as once again they are chock full of young hungry fighters ready to showcase their skills on the big stage.
The Ultimate Fighter 12 alum and Alaska native “The Deadliest Catch” Cody McKenzie (12-0) is one of several up-and-coming stars and TUF stand-outs featured on this Saturday’s UFC Fight for the Troops 2 card. McKenzie faces UFC, PRIDE, Elite XC, and BoDogFIGHT veteran and founder of “Thug Jitsu” Yves Edwards (39-16-1) in one of two preliminary bouts featured on a Facebook live stream – those who “like” the UFC on the social networking site can access the live stream Saturday night.
McKenzie’s professional MMA career barely spans four years and already the lightweight has racked up a dozen consecutive victories as well as a successful stint on The Ultimate Fighter. Furthermore, his last nine fights were won by first round submission with McKenzie’s special brand of modified Guillotine Choke, now dubbed “The McKenzietine”. The TUF alum has spent an astonishingly short cumulative total of 24 minutes and 16 seconds in the cage throughout his entire career, finishing 11 of his 12 opponents in the first stanza and allowing just one to make it to almost the halfway point of the second.
The time is finally here. Just last week, the UFC presented to its growing fan base The Ultimate Fighter live finale, which showcased some of the top organization’s freshest talent from Season 12 of the show as well as determined the newest “Ultimate Fighter”. And while it was a spectacular presentation, there was one thing missing – the long awaited grudge rematch between the always conflicting TUF 12 coaches, UFC Welterweight Champion “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (20-2) and “Kos” Josh Koscheck (15-4).
This Saturday, MMA fans will finally see whether or not GSP was truly impenetrable against his opponent’s taunting and will make him pay for his attempts, or if Koscheck really can back up his smack-talking and take the welterweight belt from one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.
Here are MMA Gospel’s main card predictions:
This Saturday at UFC 124 the welterweight championship belt will be up for grabs again when “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (20-2) faces off against Josh Koscheck (15-4). This match-up will be an attempt to extend a seven fight winning streak for 170lb. division king GSP which includes and would lengthen his current count of consecutive title defenses from four to five. Much of the The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 was marked by Koscheck attempting to get under GSP’s skin and GSP ignoring him completely. All of St. Pierre’s animosity for Koscheck has been channeled into his training, creating one of the most dangerous weapons on the planet – a motivated Georges St. Pierre.
Josh Koscheck (15-4) is not in the habit of making friends. Much of his career has been built on getting under the skin of his opponents outside of the Octagon. As coach on The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 he had no qualms about antagonizing anyone and everyone in his path. This Saturday at UFC 124 Josh Koscheck will get the opportunity to face his most frequent target of ire in the TUF house in UFC Welterweight Champion “Rush” Georges St. Pierre (20-2). Their first meeting was marked by Koscheck getting beaten at his own game and being out-wrestled by the stronger St. Pierre. A cast member on the very first season of The Ultimate Fighter, “Kos” became known to the UFC fans as the resident smack-talking tough guy – who at the time focused most of his efforts on continuously heckling fellow castmate “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-7) – and for being what many considered a one-dimensional fighter whose main focus was wrestling. The Pennsylvania native went to college on an athletic scholarship where he became an NCAA Div. I Champion as well as a four-time All-American collegiate wrestler. “Kos” also is a three-time recipient of the PSAC Wrestler of the Year Award and was honored with the Eastern Wrestling League Achievement Award twice. Since becoming a prominent member of the UFC’s 170lb. division Koscheck has worked diligently on expanding his skills beyond wrestling. Koscheck has gone 6-2 since his first match-up with GSP in August 2007, taking out premiere talent including Dustin Hazelett (15-6), “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (30-17-5), “Rumble” Anthony Johnson (8-3), and “Semtex” Paul Daley (23-10-2), and has shown a vast improvement in his stand-up game. Koscheck has repeatedly mentioned that this will be his edge on Saturday night and his key to unseating the champ.