The UFC is using trash talk between Paul Daley
and Josh Koscheck
as a major selling point for their fight at UFC 113
. The trash talk has gone from the lighthearted (Daley making fun of Koscheck's hair) to the possibly inappropriate (Daley promising to knock Koscheck out and punctuating those promises with profanity), but it has been a constant presence from the moment the UFC announced the fight.
Daley, however, says he doesn't want it that way.
"A lot of the trash talk has been too much," Daley told MMAFighting.com. "The media will repeat a few things over and over that I said when the fight first got announced but I've really been too busy with my training to pay any attention to anything he's been saying. I want to let my fighting do the talking."
Daley also doesn't believe that Koscheck means it when he claims he'd be happy to stand up and go toe-to-toe in the Octagon. Koscheck is a much better wrestler than Daley, and Daley believes Koscheck's game plan will be to avoid trading punches and put him on his back.
"He's going to want to take me down for sure," Daley said. "No matter what he's saying, i know that's what he wants to do, and I've got my game plan and I know I'm going to be ready for the inevitable Koscheck takedown attempt."
For both fighters, the game plan would seem to be rather simple: Daley wants to land one of his big left hooks, while Koscheck wants to take Daley down and stay on top of him. Daley makes no secret of the fact that improving his takedown defense has been an important part of his preparation for Koscheck.
"Of course, my trainers and I are always working on that part of my game," Daley said. "I'm at my best when I'm standing on my feet and knocking people out, so avoiding a takedown is important to me. I've studied the way he takes guys down, watched a few of his fights and I spent some time watching him with my trainers, but once I started training camp I thought watching his fights would distract me more than anything. I'm an MMA fan so of course I've seen Koscheck's fights but I'm getting ready to fight my fight and not worrying too much about his wrestling."
If Koscheck is studying Daley, he's likely studying Daley's 2008 loss to Jake Shields -- a fight that may have given other fighters the blueprint for how to beat Daley in 2008. In a nationally televised fight on CBS, Shields took Daley down and submitted him with an arm bar in the second round But Daley notes that Shields is on a 14-fight winning streak and has taken down some of the best fighters in the sport, and Daley bristles at criticism of his performance againstShields.
"It kind of annoys me that people would ask me if my takedown defense has improved since fighting Jake Shields," Daley says. "Jake Shields just completely handed Dan Henderson -- an Olympic wrestler -- his ass. You saying, 'Has your takedown defense improved since you lost to Jake Shields?' is like asking, 'Has your boxing improved since you lost to Floyd Mayweather?' Jake Shields might have the best takedowns in all of MMA. And I stuffed some of his takedowns."
In addition to hyping the Daley-Koscheck fight by highlighting the trash talk between the two, the UFC has also said that the fight will determine the next top welterweight contender, and that the winner will fight welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. Daley doesn't necessarily view that as raising the stakes for this fight, though.
"I'm not looking at it as being for a title fight, I'm just looking at it as being another fight," Daley said. "I want to win this fight, but I want to win any fight."