On a night of brutal finishes, Josh Koscheck capped off the UFC "Fight for the Troops" show with a devastating first round knockout of Japanese judoka Yoshiyuki Yoshida.
Stepping into the main event just 46 days after a loss to Thiago Alves, it was Koscheck who insisted on staying put in the previously scheduled fight against Yoshida and he did not disappoint.
It was clear in the early going that Koscheck has no problem standing up, as the former NCAA wrestling champion never even looked towards a takedown.
As he pursued Yoshida closer to the cage, Koscheck unloaded an absolutely punishing straight right hand, and with the Japanese fighter still on wobbly legs he let one more right hand go.
The result was Yoshida crashing down to the mat, knocked unconscious.
"I knew he was looking for the overhand right a lot so I kind of focused on throwing straight punches," Koscheck said about his gameplan after the fight.
The Pennsylvania native has only three losses in his MMA career and after each loss, he has bounced back with an extremely convincing win; with the knockout over Yoshida being his latest accomplishment.
With the focus during the broadcast solely set on the U.S. troops and the Intrepid Fallen Hereos Fund, Koscheck once again reiterated the emotion that everyone felt on such an important night.
"What an honor to fight in front of all you guys out there," Koscheck said addressing the troops in attendance. "Get on there and donate; this is what it's about. If that wasn't worth $5 from every UFC fan, I don't know what else I can do."
Koscheck maintains his position as a top five welterweight, and picks up a win over another quality opponent as he moves into 2009 with a chance to get closer to a 170-pound divisional title shot.
Josh Koscheck vs. Yoshiyuki YoshidaR1- Both fighters respecting their opponents ability and feeling each other out early. Koscheck lands a couple of right hands as they briefly clinch. Koscheck with another right hand. Kosheck with a right hand that hurts Yoshida and follows up with another that puts Yoshida out cold.
Josh Koscheck def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by KO at 2:15, R1
Jonathan Goulet vs. Mike SwickR1- No touch of gloves in this one. Swick drops Goulet in the first exchange with a left hand. He pounces on Goulet and finishes him off on the ground with devastating left hands and hammer fists.
Mike Swick def. Jonathan Goulet by KO at 0:33, R1
Razak Al-Hassan vs. Steve CantwellR1- Al-Hassan moving forward, pressing the pace early. Cantwell clinches and the fighters were briefly tied up along the cage. Cantwell lands a right hand and Al-Hassan clinches and lands two knees to the body. Cantwell partially lands a high kick before getting the fight to the ground. Cantwell improves his position to side control and quickly moves to the mount position. Cantwell lands elbwos and Cantwell applies an arm bar. Al-Hassan doesn't tap and the referee stops the fight. Al-Hassan's arm may have been broken. At the least it was damaged by the arm bar.
*The replay shows Al-Hassan's arm pop at the elbow.
Steve Cantwell def. Razak Al-Hassan by submission (arm bar) at 4:04, R1
Nate Loughran vs. Tim CredeurR1- Inside leg kick by Loughran to open the fight. Credeur lands a left hand and Loughran clinches but Credeur presses him against the cage and lands knees to the body. They separate. Credeur lands a combination and then a big right hand. Credeur displaying the better striking thus far. Loughran tries to answer with leg and body kicks, but Credeur's winging shots are finding their mark. Credeur landing right hands at will, but Loughran showing a good chin. Huge right hand by Credeur with 20 seconds left. The round ends with Credeur going into Loughran's guard, passes and moves to mount. MMAWeekly scores round one 10-9 for Tim Credeur.
R2- Loughran shoots for a takedown early and pulls guard. Credeur working inside Loughran's full guard and Loughran has a small cut on his left eye. Credeur moves to half guard. The referee stands them up with two minutes remaining. Loughran lands kicks to the body and legs while Credeur answers with right hands. Loughran's mouth is open, breathing heavy. Credeur pours it on in the closing moments, landing a series of punches, but Loughran remains standing. MMAWeekly scores round two 10-9 for Credeur.
The fight is stopped bewteen rounds. Tim Credeur is declared the winner as Loughran sits on the stool.
Tim Credeur def. Nate Loughran by TKO at 5:00, R2.
Matt Wiman vs. Jim Miller R1- Miller opens with a straight right hand. Wiman slips and immediately jumps back up. Miller lands a right-left combination. Wiman clinches and Miller tosses him to the canvas applying a guillotine choke in the process. Wiman has an arm in and escapes. Miller in Wiman's guard and lands punches and elbows opening up a cut on the bridge of Wiman's nose. Wiman scrambles as Miller tries to pass his guard and ends up on top. Miller gets back to his feet. Wiman lands his best punches of the fight before taking a body kick thta hurt him. Miller, who took the fight on short notice, is breathing heavy. Miller throws a superman punch that was blocked by Wiman as the round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Jim Miller.
R2- Wiman pushes the pace early and Miller attempts a takedown. Wiman defends and they're back standing toe-to-toe. Miller lands a nice two punch combination that seemingly hurt Wiman. Miller landing big sots to Wiman who is against the cage Miller gets a single-leg takedown and finds himself in Wiman's guard where he lands hammer fists to Wiman's head. Miller is dominating Wiman. The round ends with Miller working ground and pound. MMAWeekly scores round two 10-9 for Miller.
R3- Wiman flurries to start the round, landing clean shots on Miller. Miller takes him to the ground. Wiman gets back to his feet only to be taken down with a single-leg. Miller picks up where he left off in the second round working ground and pound before passing Wiman's guard. Wiman works his way back to guard and gets back to his feet. Miller again takes him down with a single-leg. Wiman gets back to his feet and takes Miller down only to have his back taken. Miller works for a rear naked choke with both hooks in with a minute remaining. Miller moves to mount but Wiman uses to opportunity to try to get up. The round ends. It was all Jim Miller. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Miller.
Jim Miller def. Matt Wiman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Luigi Fioravanti vs. Brodie FarberR1- Luigi gets the fight to the ground early, lands in Farber's guard. Luigi gets side control, Farber gets back up and then is slammed back down. Luigi working for a rear naked choke, but can't land it. Farber is back up again only to have Luigi take him down again, back into side control. Luigi controlling the fight the entire time, punishing Farber throughout. MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 for Luigi Fioravanti
R2- The fighters feel it out on the feet, but Luigi gets another takedown, moves quickly into side control. Luigi takes his back again and goes for the rear naked choke. Luigi has Farber against the cage, but can't land the choke. The fighters scramble and Farber actually goes for Luigi's back, but can't get there and the fighters are back up. Farber goes for a flurry at the end of the round. MMAWeekly scores R2 10-9 for Luigi Fioravanti
R3- Farber comes out and tries to land something standing early in the round. Luigi connects with a shot of his own, then moves to the ground, gets the mount. Luigi gets his back again and goes for the rear naked choke. The fighters stand again and Luigi just misses with a high kick. Luigi gets another takedown. Luigi transitions, gets Farber's back again and goes for the choke. Luigi controlling every aspect of the fight, just can't get the finish. MMAWeekly scores R3 10-9 for Luigi Fioravanti
Luigi Fioravanti def. Brodie Farber by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Johnny Rees vs. Steve Bruno R1- Rees lands a good knee early, Bruno gets the clinch and puts Rees against the cage. Rees goes for a takedown and puts Bruno on his back, but gets back to his feet quickly. Bruno now gets the fight to the ground and lands in Rees' guard, then moves to side control and then north/south position. Bruno takes his back briefly, but Rees works out of it and has Bruno back in his guard. Bruno gets his back again as Rees stands up. The fighters separate and Rees gets the clinch, pusing Bruno against the cage. Round ends, extremely close. MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 for Steve Bruno
R2 - Bruno gets a takedown early, tries to go for mount, but Rees gets out and stands back up. The fighters clinch again against the cage. The fighters stay clinched against the cage, until Bruno finally lands a takedown. Scramble on the ground and Bruno locks on a rear naked choke, Rees submits.
Steve Bruno def. Johnny Rees by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:44, R2
Ben Saunders vs. Brandon Wolff R1- The fighters come out striking early and Saunders lands a low blow and the fight is paused for a moment. Back to the action, Saunders lands good kicks and knees, Wolff doesn't have an answer to his offense. Saunders keeps coming forward with knee strikes and Wolff is in trouble. Muay thai clinic by Saunders. The referee steps in to stop the fight.
Ben Saunders def. Brandon Wolff by TKO (strikes) at 1:49, R1
Corey Hill vs. Dale HarttR1 - The fighters get to the ground early with Corey Hill working from inside Dale Hartt's guard. Hill moves to half guard, but the fighters are quickly back up to the feet. Back to the ground again, as Hill takes Hartt down again and Hartt gets full guard. Just as quickly the fighters are back up again. Hill does a good job using his reach on the feet as well. MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 for Corey Hill
R2 - The fighters start trading on the feet as Dale Hartt lands a leg kick, and just as Corey Hill plants his right leg to throw a punch, he crumbles to the mat. It appears that Hill has a broken leg. The sound from the break echos in the arena. Hill is carried out on a stretcher. Marc Ratner says he is pretty sure Hill has a broken leg. Dale Hartt stays by Corey's side as he is hurt in the Octagon. Everybody in the arena is visibly shaken by the situation in the cage. The replay shows a very, very nasty break in Hill's leg. Dale Hartt is extremely classy staying by Corey's side and talking after the fight.
Dale Hartt def. Corey Hill by TKO at :20 seconds, R2
Eddie Sanchez vs. Justin McCullyR1 - The fighters start early in the clinch trading knees against the cage. The fighters continue to transition stand-up from the center of the cage and the backing up against the cage. Sanchez has a small cut on his right eye. The fighters get to the ground and Sanchez gets side control, landing some good elbows. MMAWeekly scores R1 10-9 for Eddie Sanchez
R2 - Beginning of the round, Sanchez comes out swinging with wild punches. McCully goes for a headkick of his own, but misses. Both fighters seem content to trade standing with McCully being the more active fighter. Sanchez goes for a body lock and takedown, but gets stuffed. Both fighters look very gassed. MMAWeekly scores R2 10-9 for Justin McCully
R3- Final round starts slow with both fighters still gasping for air. McCully goes for another head kick and then flurries on Sanchez, then working for a takedown. Mostly clinch work again, but McCully goes for a big flurry at the end of the round as the crowd was getting restless and booing the action in the cage. MMAWeekly scores R3 10-9 for Justin McCully
Justin McCully def. Eddie Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
-Josh Koscheck def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida by KO at 2:15, R1 -Mike Swick def. Jonathan Goulet by KO at 0:33, R1 -Steve Cantwell def. Razak Al-Hassan by submission (arm bar) at 4:04, R1 -Tim Credeur def. Nate Loughran by TKO at 5:00, R2. -Jim Miller def. Matt Wiman by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27) -Luigi Fioravanti def. Brodie Farber by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) -Steve Bruno def. Johnny Rees by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:44, R2 -Ben Saunders def. Brandon Wolff by TKO (strikes) at 1:49, R1 -Dale Hartt def. Corey Hill by TKO at :20 seconds, R2. -Justin McCully def. Eddie Sanchez by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)