Two top UFC welterweights coming off loses will try to jump right back into a division on hold at UFC 151. Jake Ellenberger (27-6) and Josh Koscheck (17-6) have agreed to fight on September 1st as the co-main event to the light heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson.
As welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre recovers from a knee injury and interim champion Carlos Condit waits, the rest of the division has been jockeying for position. Both Ellenberger and Koscheck were in the mix until their recent defeats and will now look to use the other as a quick step back into that mix.
Ellenberger is coming off a second round knockout loss to Martin Kampmann at The Ultimate Fighter 15 finale. A match where Ellenberger had his opponent in serious trouble in the opening round before getting caught with a knee that would lead to the end of the fight in round two. Ellenberger had been riding a six fight winning streak coming into that fight with notable wins over Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez.
Koscheck fought a month earlier against Johny Hendricks, losing a tough split decision at UFC on FOX 3. Leading up to the fight Koscheck has been lobbying hard for a fight against Carlos Condit whom he was supposed to face before St. Pierre got injured and was replaced by Condit. The Ultimate Fighter season one participant had defeated Mike Pierce in another close bout prior to his bout with Hendricks and subsequent knock down the proverbial ladder.
These two can’t be too far down the welterweight division ladder heading into UFC 151 as the two men they just lost to are now rumored to be facing each other in a number one contenders match later this year.
Stylistically Ellenberger and Koscheck are very similar. Both were NCAA wrestlers (Koscheck DI, Ellenberger DII) and both can stop the fight at any point with their crushing power. Also neither fighter can afford a second consecutive loss, making their UFC 151 co-main event bout a “must win” fight.