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‘New Breed’ At Lightweight: Gauging Erik Koch’s Future At 155 Pounds
Daniel Cormier wasn’t the only fighter in the UFC on Saturday to make his debut in a different weight class.
“DC” dropped down to light-heavyweight to take on Patrick Cummins in the co-main event of UFC 170 this weekend but before that, on the undercard, former no.1 contender in the featherweight division Erik Koch went up a weight class to make his lightweight debut. In doing so, he picked up his first finish since March 2011, by scoring an emphatic first round knockout over Rafaello Oliveira.
The move came as a surprise for most, with Koch being on a two-fight losing streak previously at featherweight, wouldn’t he have a better chance trying to stick it out in the 145 pound weight class?
Well according to Koch, who spoke to reporters following his fight this Saturday, he was actually cutting up to 50 pounds to make the featherlight weight class and this was the first stress-free cut he had ever had. Koch went on to say he use to feel “slow” at 145 pounds.
“I walk around at 195 pounds, people don’t understand that,” Koch said. “I come to a UFC expo with Anthony (Pettis), and people are like…’is that Koch’, they don’t even know because I don’t look like the same person.”
“I cut down to 145, I’m cutting like 10 to 15 pounds of muscle,” he continued. “When you have 24 hours to rehydrate your not gaining muscle, it’s more me putting a huge weight vest on myself and I felt sluggish, I felt slow.”
If that’s the case, Koch has made the right decision to move up to lightweight; it’s something he probably should have done a long time ago. Koch looked sharp at 155 pounds and he made a big statement with his win, he looks to be an exiting addition to the lightweight division.
As for whats next for “New Breed”, I would like to see him take a fight which could put him right in the mix, a bout with Al Iaquinta could do just that.
Iaquinta picked up his third-straight win in the lightweight division at UFC 169, beating Kevin Lee via unanimous. Iaquinta deserves a big name next and a fight against Koch would most likely be an absolute war.
Is there anyone who you would like to see “New Breed” up against next?