The fight is a huge one for Hendricks, who is coming off a 12-second knockout of Jon Fitch at UFC 141. Hendricks was a heavy underdog heading into that fight, but if he follows his upset win over Fitch with a win over Koscheck, he'd have a very strong case that he deserves to be third in line in the UFC's welterweight division, behind only the sidelined champion Georges St. Pierre and interim champion Carlos Condit.
For Koscheck, the fight shows that he's now settling into a gatekeeper role, after his second loss to St. Pierre eliminated him from title contention any time soon. Koscheck got by with a tough split decision win over Mike Pierce at UFC 143, and now he'll have another tough fight against another younger, less experienced opponent in Hendricks.
Koscheck-Hendricks is a great fight for hard-core MMA fans, but the big question is whether it will also be a great fight for the more casual FOX audience, an audience that doesn't necessarily appreciate great wrestlers like Koscheck and Hendricks. The best-case scenario for the UFC is an exciting slugfest in which Hendricks establishes himself as not only a future title contender, but also as the kind of fighter that fans will want to pay to see.