The cast members of the first and most memorable season of The Ultimate Fighter have been rapidly becoming an endangered species.
There are four fighters left. But neither Mike Swick, due to constantly battling an illness, nor Chris Leben, battling demons and losses, are considered top tier fighters right now. The two remaining fighters at a significant level are Diego Sanchez and Josh Koscheck.
But after Saturday’s loss to Tyron Woodley, Koscheck (19-8) may also be out of that category after being knocked out at 4:38 of the first round. It wasn’t so much Koscheck being knocked out, since Woodley (12-2) was favored to beat him, but that Koscheck was knocked down three times before being finished, nearly every time a solid right landed.
Koscheck was so shaken up after the fight that Dana White went into the cage to speak with him and make sure he was okay. White also revealed that after the fight, Koscheck sent him a text message, which he described as something that may have been him saying he was retiring.
Still, White, doesn’t think Koscheck should be done.
In the post-press conference scrum, White brought up the text and said he thought Koscheck still had some fight left in him.
"The other guys’s a beast," said White, who said he thought Koscheck hurt Woodley early before being finished.
It was Koscheck’s third straight loss. Three is often the magic number, although White had many times noted a fondness or the cast of the first season. Without it, UFC very likely wouldn’t exist, and almost surely wouldn’t under White’s management.
Koscheck was also knocked out in his previous fight against Robbie Lawler. Before that, he lost a split decision to Johny Hendricks, in a fight that many thought Koscheck had won.
White noted Koscheck comes out, gets booed by most of the fans, and then almost always performs.
But the concerning thing wasn’t the two previous losses, as the Hendricks fight today hardly is a demerit, and he got caught in a bad position with Lawler, one of the hardest punchers in the division.
But the concerning issue is that Koscheck went down from punches that the old Koscheck would have likely stood up to, considering he went three rounds without being hurt significantly by Hendricks, a much bigger puncher.