Josh Koscheck will be back in action sooner than expected. | Photo: Dave Mandel
A rumored UFC 135 clash between Matt Hughes and Josh Koscheck was confirmed late Tuesday when UFC president Dana White announced the matchup via Twitter.
Hughes was initially slated to square off with Diego Sanchez at the Sept. 24 event, but a broken hand forced Sanchez out of the bout, leaving Hughes without an opponent. Koscheck tweeted Monday that he had been offered the fight, pending Hughes’ approval.
Headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between Jon Jones and Quinton Jackson, UFC 135 will emanate from the Pepsi Center in Denver. The event will also feature a lightweight contest pitting Nate Diaz against Takanori Gomi, as well as a heavyweight scrap between Travis Browne and Rob Broughton.
A UFC hall of famer, Hughes recently had a three-fight winning streak snapped when he was knocked out by old rival B.J. Penn at UFC 123 in November. Prior to that 21-second defeat, Hughes had rattled off wins over Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida. The 37-year-old owns 20 of his 45 career wins by submission, and has only been bested by Georges St. Pierre, Thiago Alves and Penn since 2001.
Like Hughes, Koscheck was a superior collegiate wrestler, earning NCAA Division I All-American honors four times. Also like Hughes, the American Kickboxing Academy standout had a three-fight winning streak halted when he was outpointed by St. Pierre in the main event of UFC 124 in December. St. Pierre dominated the five-round affair in Montreal, busting the American's orbital bone with a continuous left jabs en route to a one-sided unanimous decision victory.
Koscheck stated last month that he planned to return Nov. 19 at UFC 139, possibly at 185 pounds.