Another household name in the UFC is going to the “other” backyard.

A New Home

Bellator MMA announced last Friday that they have signed resident UFC welterweight fighter Josh Koschek. The 37-year old Koschek is one of the longest-tenured fighters in the UFC, having made his Octagon debut at finale of The Ultimate Fighter 1 back in April of 2005. He fought a total of 25 times inside the Octagon and had a UFC record of 15-10 with 5 knockouts and 4 submissions.

Koschek reached his peak when he challenged Georges St. Pierre for the UFC Welterweight title at UFC 124 in 2010. Although Koschek lost that bout, it won Fight of The Night honors. Koschek holds notable wins over Diego Sanchez, Anthony Johnson and the legendary Matt Hughes. However, Koschek had lost his last five bouts including a first round submission defeat against Erick Silva last March. There were rumors that he was going to retire, but with his latest move it looks as if he is looking for one final shot at glory in a new home.

Going After Rival

Although Bellator didn’t give a date or opponent for Koschek’s promotional debut and return to Spike TV, fight experts and fans alike are pointing their fingers at old rival Paul Daley. It can be recalled that Koschek and Daley fought for the UFC welterweight title eliminator at UFC 113 in 2010 in the bout that led to his only title shot at the UFC. Koschek used his superior wrestling skills to dominate Daley and earn a clear unanimous decision victory. However, controversy erupted after the fighters were referee after the final bell when Daley punched Koschek in the face.

Immediately after that fight, UFC President Dana White announced a lifetime ban on Paul Daley saying that Daley’s action was inexcusable in the UFC. Daley would go on to fight in various MMA organizations before settling down with Strikeforce, where he would get a title shot against Nick Diaz in 2011. After the merger of Strikeforce and the UFC, Daley went on to fight for independent promotions before signing with Bellator for a second tour of duty last July. He was expected to challenge Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima at Bellator 134 last February 2015 but ended up beating Andre Santos after Lima pulled out of the fight with an injury.

Koschek vs Daley?

Koschek vs. Daley would sound like a blast from the past fight but with the success of Bellator 139 which was headlined by Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock who were two old rivals, Bellator could be looking at Koschek vs. Daley 2 in the near future. Koschek may have lost 5 in a row but he is still a dangerous opponent and a huge draw. On the other hand, the 32-year old Daley has missed weight in 6 of his last 14 bouts so if there’s one issue that has to be settled before this fight can be made, it should be the weight at which the bout is to be fought. Other than that, this should be an exciting fight although it may no longer have title implications.

*photo from

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