Josh Koscheck has fond memories of fighting on Spike TV. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Josh Koscheck wasn’t necessarily in favor of the unofficial lifetime ban imposed on Paul Daley after the British slugger popped “Kos” with a post-fight cheap shot at UFC 113.
While Dana White famously declared that Daley would “never come back here again” following the event, that stance might not have been as rigid as it initially appeared to be. According to Koscheck, White eventually contacted him about a possible Daley return.
“At one point I remember Dana White calling me saying, ‘Hey, would you let Paul Daley back in the UFC?’ And I said, ‘Please go get him, the welterweight division needs it,’” Koscheck told Sherdog.com. “And then the UFC couldn’t get the deal done. I said welcome him back so I can be the first one to beat his ass again.”
Daley never did make it back to the Octagon, but now he and Koscheck could potentially cross paths under the Bellator MMA banner. “The Ultimate Fighter 1” veteran recently signed with the Scott Coker-led promotion after his 25-bout tenure with the UFC concluded with five straight defeats. The possibility of a rematch with Daley, whom Koscheck defeated via unanimous decision five years ago, was most definitely an added incentive to sign.
“Without a doubt,” Koscheck said. “That’s why I said something about it. He hit me after the bell and got booted from the UFC. Ever since then I’ve wanted to fight him.”
The two former combatants crossed paths at Bellator 131 in San Diego last November. This time, no blows were exchanged, and Koscheck doesn’t anticipate any extracurricular activity taking place should they be booked for a return date.
“When Tito and Stephan Bonnar fought I saw him in that San Diego arena. We sat right beside each other,” Koscheck said. “I’m sure we’ll be professional. We may give some mean mugs and some looks. At the end of the day we’re professionals, and we’re going to handle it inside the cage.”
At the moment, Daley’s schedule looks full: He faces Dennis Olson at Bellator 140on July 17 before returning to the kickboxing arena against an opponent to be determined on the Glory portion of the Bellator "Dynamite" card in September. Koscheck is uncertain if Daley will be the opponent who welcomes him to the Bellator cage.
“I haven’t given it any thought. I’ll meet up with Scott Coker [this month], and me and Scott will discuss what direction he wants to take,” Koscheck said.
While the opportunity to settle an old score resonated with Koscheck, there was more to his decision to sign with Bellator. The California resident made his mark on Spike TV during the initial season of “TUF,” and he looks forward to return to the network that launched his MMA career.
“I like Scott Coker, I started my career on Spike TV and I want to finish my career on Spike TV,” he said. “I had some great fights on Spike TV. I’m excited about the opportunity to be in Bellator...You’re going to see big waves in the future. I think they’ve got good things going on over there, and I’m proud to be a part of it. I’m going to help build Spike TV back up to a powerhouse in MMA again, and I’m gonna help build Bellator into the powerhouse when it comes to mixed martial arts.”