Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fight Week Previews: Josh Koscheck vs. Frank Trigg

As much as I wasn't overly interested in Frank Trigg's return to the UFC when the company began down the path of signing every household name imaginable, this fight actually intrigues the hell out of me.

Both guys need a strong showing; Koscheck to rebound from his loss to Paulo Thiago and Trigg to justify the UFC's decision to bring him back into the fold.

Normally, I'd say something about their styles, but after getting beatdown by TNA superstar A.J. Styles with a kendo stick, any mention of the word makes Trigg get all squirrelly.

Josh Koscheck (12-4-0) vs. Frank Trigg (19-6-0)

When it comes to training camps, both fighters are coming out of top-notch facilities, so you know they are going to be ready for war.

While Koscheck spends his days rolling with fellow welterweight contenders Jon Fitch and Mike Swick at American Kickboxing Academy, Trigg has spent this camp in Vegas working with the boys at Xtreme Couture, making the camp competition too close to call.

Georges St-Pierre is the only shared opponent between the two, and not surprisingly, both were defeated.

If we're grasping for every edge and angle imaginable, Koscheck went the distance with GSP in his first fight after losing the welterweight title, while Trigg tapped to a rear naked choke in the first round of their fight at UFC 54.

On strength of schedule, Trigg is the unquestioned winner. Over the years, "Twinkle Toes" has lined up opposite Matt Hughes twice, Carlos Condit, Robbie Lawler, Jason "Mayhem" Miller and Hayato "Mach" Sakurai.

Normally, Josh Koscheck's recent decision to use his striking far more than his wrestling is something I question, but in this fight, it might be the right approach.

Trigg is a solid wrestler in his own right and has been around the sport long enough to have seen everything Kos could throw at him in terms of takedowns and shoots. His defense is solid, as is his clinch game, and if Koscheck continually tries to take him to the ground, we could have a 15 minute hugging session on our hands.

On the other hand, Trigg hasn't knocked anyone out in quite some time, while Koscheck knocked Yoshiyuki Yoshida stiff just two fights back. While I don't think Trigg has the punching power to put Koscheck down for the count, how Kos adapts to the southpaw stance will help determine where this fight ends up.

Either way, this is just one of a number of tussles taking place this week that will clear up the muddied waters of the welterweight division.

If the speculation is true, expect Koscheck to be extra motivated, as a title shot might accompany a win.

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