Koscheck vs. Johnson

The co-headliner of Saturday's UFC 106 is a welterweight contest between Anthony Johnson and Josh Koscheck.

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Johnson enters the fight as a slight favorite with a betting line of -130 with Koscheck given an even money line according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this main event bout, which will take place from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nev. on Saturday at 10PM ET on Pay-Per View.
Anthony Johnson (8-2):
Strengths
: Johnson is an explosive and powerful fighter with a large frame for the welterweight division. Johnson has a very long reach which allows him to keep distance from his opponents while still landing very damaging strikes. Six of Johnson’s eight wins come by knockout.
Weaknesses: Johnson is a lot like Mike Tyson during his prime in boxing. Johnson is very explosive and he can easily knock you out in the first round. But, if you survive that early onslaught, he can be beaten with superior skill and technique. Johnson showed that he lacks skills on the ground in his submission loss to Rich Clementi at UFC 76, and in this fight, he is facing a strong wrestler. We will see how much Johnson has improved in his takedown defense and ground defense.
Last Five Fights:
First round TKO win over Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 104 on Oct. 24, 2009

First round TKO win over Luigi Fioravanti at UFC Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7, 2009

Third round KO win over Kevin Burns at Ultimate Fighter 8 Finale on Dec. 13, 2008

Third round TKO loss to Kevin Burns at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008

First round KO win over Tom Speer at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2. 2008
 
Josh Koscheck (13-4):
Strengths: Koscheck is an All-American wrestler that has powerful punches. Koscheck is perhaps the most explosive fighter when it comes to getting takedowns as he is able to secure them quickly and with power. Koscheck has greatly improved his striking during his career and can knockout opponents with either hand.
Weaknesses: While his striking has improved, he is still not a precision striker and throws a lot of haymakers, which have caused him to lose against superior strikers like Thiago Alves and Georges St. Pierre. Koscheck has also gotten away from his greatest strength, his wrestling. In this fight, Koscheck will need to get Johnson to the ground as Johnson has superior power and speed.
Last Five Fights:
First round TKO win over Frank Trigg at UFC 103 on Sept. 19, 2009

First round TKO loss to Paulo Thiago at UFC 95 on Feb. 21, 2009

First round KO win over Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC Fight For the Troops on Dec. 10, 2008

Unanimous decision loss to Thiago Alves at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Chris Lytle at UFC 86 on July 5, 2008
 
Who will win: This fight comes down to what Josh Koscheck’s mindset will be entering the octagon. If Koscheck thinks he can win a striking match with Johnson, it will likely be Johnson taking the victory with a TKO. If Koscheck uses his wrestling skills to get Johnson to the ground and score a submission or work ground-and-pound striking, then this should be an easy victory for Koscheck. He may have to eat a punch to get inside, but better to eat one than many. Look for Koscheck to be smart and get the fight to the ground where he scores a TKO win over Johnson in round two.
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Posted: 11/20/09 10:41PM ET

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