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Paulo Thiago suggests Josh Koscheck rematch at Bellator, vows to finish him again

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Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Six and a half years after shocking the world, Paulo Thiago is willing to give a rematch to the man that made him famous.

Making his Octagon debut at UFC 95 in London against Josh Koscheck, who had 13 UFC fights at that time, Thiago needed less than four minutes to knock the TUF 1 veteran out and be ranked among the best at that time. With both fighters recently released from the UFC, the Brazilian thinks it’s time to meet again.

Koscheck recently signed a deal with Bellator and is waiting for his first opponent, while Thiago has returned to training after pulling out of a fight at Rebel FC due to a spine injury.

"I was booked to fight Joe Ray in June, but I got injured, and it looks like they won’t do another show before December. But I want this fight against Koscheck," Thiago told MMAFighting.com. "That fight made me popular, and it was a bit controversial too. He thought he could continue fighting, some people said I was lucky. He was doing well in the fight, so it’s a chance for him to get a rematch."

Thiago, who signed a non-exclusive contract with Rebel FC, believes they are better fighters compared to when they first met in 2009, despite the recent losses both suffered under the UFC banner.

"We had ups and downs," said Thiago, who went 2-7 in his past nine bouts, while Koscheck lost six of his last eight. "I’m also coming off losses, but we’re both good fighters and can put on a show for the fans. Our last results don’t matter, they only make us more motivated to go there and fight hard to win."

"I’m an experienced fighter today," he continued. "I was making my UFC debut, and I was a little hesitant in the fight. It’s been six years since that fight, and we both evolved a lot since. We will respect each other more this time, but we have more weapons now than we had in 2009."

Training at Brasilia’s Constrictor Team, Thiago believes he’d be 100 percent by the end of October.

"Give me eight weeks and I’m ready to fight," he said. "Book the fight and I’ll be ready. I can even fight sooner, no problem. I will be ready for whenever they choose."

With finishes over Koscheck and Mike Swick under his belt, Thiago is confident he would stop the UFC veteran one more time.

"I believe it would be a war," said the Brazilian welterweight. "A blow can end the fight at any moment, of course, but I expect it to be a tough fight, but I would come out victorious, and it wouldn’t go the distance. I would either knock him out again or submit him."