UFC Fight Night 16 Takes Shape

By Sherdog.com Staff Nov 11, 2008
Josh Koscheck kept his promise.

The world’s fourth-ranked welterweight will meet Japanese standout Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the featured bout at UFC Fight Night 16 “Fight for the Troops” on Dec. 10 at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C. Spike TV representatives announced the matchup on Monday, along with several others.

Koscheck (11-3) has won seven of his past nine bouts, losing only to reigning UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and American Top Team’s Thiago Alves.

He accepted the UFC 90 bout against Alves on short notice but ultimately came out on the wrong end of a unanimous decision. Koscheck vowed after his loss to Alves to keep his spot atop the Dec. 10 card. One of the sport’s premier wrestlers, he owns victories against Diego Sanchez, Dustin Hazelett and Chris Lytle.

Yoshida, meanwhile, has made only one appearance inside the Octagon. He choked War Machine unconscious at UFC 84 in May to run his current winning streak to nine fights. Yoshida (10-2), who has finished seven of his past eight opponents, has not tasted defeat in almost three years.

Koscheck and Yoshida will not be the only welterweights in action.

Canadian veteran Jonathan Goulet will collide with Koscheck’s American Kickboxing Academy teammate, Mike Swick, in another key confrontation at 170 pounds.

Two fights into his rebirth as a welterweight, Swick (12-2) last competed at UFC 85 in June when he earned a unanimous decision against the highly regarded Marcus Davis. The defeat snapped Davis’ 11-bout winning streak and allowed Swick to pick up some steam in his new weight class. Still only 29, he has been finished only once as a professional.

The 29-year-old Goulet (22-9) has posted back-to-back wins against Paul Georgieff and Kuniyoshi Hironaka since he returned to the Octagon in April. Victories over one-time International Fight League champion Jay Hieron and former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight title contender John Alessio highlight Goulet’s resume. He has not appeared since he stopped Hironaka on second-round strikes at UFC 83 seven months ago.

Elsewhere, Frankie Edgar will throw leather with Matt Wiman in a match between two of the UFC’s most promising lightweights.

Edgar, 27, picked a unanimous decision victory against former UFC lightweight title contender Hermes Franca in July, as he rebounded from the first defeat of his career -- a decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 13. A relentless wrestler from Toms River, N.J., Edgar (9-1) has quickly solidified himself in the 155-pound division, securing wins against Spencer Fisher and Tyson Griffin. His memorable bout with Griffin at UFC 67 was a contender for “Fight of the Year” in 2007.

Wiman (10-3), meanwhile, has proven quite a find for the UFC since his appearance on season five of “The Ultimate Fighter.” The 25-year-old Oklahoman knocked out respected Brazilian Thiago Tavares at UFC 85 in June and will carry a four-fight winning streak into his bout with Edgar.

Other matches will pair WEC light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell with the undefeated Razak Al-Hussan, ATT’s Luigi Fioravanti with Brodie Farber and Dale Hartt with lanky lightweight Corey Hill. In addition, “The Ultimate Fighter 7” semi-finalist Tim Credeur will battle Nate Loughran, and Ben Saunders will square off with Brandon Wolff.

A welterweight matchup pitting Spirit Martial Challenge champion Steve Bruno against Johnny Rees will round out the card, along with a heavyweight bout between Justin McCully and Eddie Sanchez.

The UFC Fight Night 16 show will raise funds to build a hospital for traumatic brain injuries for United States servicemen and servicewomen. The event features five military veterans -- Fioravanti, Credeur, Hartt, Wolff and Bruno.
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