UFC 124 – Georges St-Pierre vs Josh Koscheck 2 – Hometown Fans Pay Up
It’s been just over three years since UFC 74 when Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck battled in the octagon for three rounds ending in a win by unanimous decision for GSP. Tension between Koscheck and GSP has been building over the three years since UFC 74 and has only intensified with these two fighters being featured on Spike’s UFC Reality Show, ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. This fight is going down in St-Pierre’s backyard and his hometown Quebec fans are paying up to support him in the welterweight title fight against Josh Koscheck. Ticket prices for UFC 124 are the highest of any UFC card since we started covering MMA.
Commentary and fight card discussion courtesy of David St. Martin. David is an editor and MMA contributor for SB Nation including the MMA blog Watch Kalib Run. You can follow him on Twitter @SaintMMA.
I don’t think it would be out of bounds to say that Georges St. Pierre is now the UFC’s top drawing fighter. With the recent unseating of Brock Lesnar by Cain Velasquez at UFC 121, I expect to see GSP take the lead in straight PPV buys. I just don’t see Lesnar being able to draw after the manner in which he lost, but we’ll have to see when and who he fights next.
St. Pierre’s marketability makes him a selling force. Since signing endorsement deals with both Gatorade and Under Armour, GSP is easily the most mainstream fighter competing in MMA today. While he already has a fairly faithful male audience, it’s his ability to bring in female viewers that makes him such a prize for marketers. With the entire Canadian nation — and market — behind him, why wouldn’t he be?
In addition to UFC 124’s main event between Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koscheck, there are a number of other great matchups that seem to have been neglected due to the GSP mania.
Jim Miller vs. Charles Oliveira
After breezing through his first two opponents since joining the promotion in August, Charles Oliveira faces his toughest test in Jim Miller. Miller — a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt — has only ever dropped fights to Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, the two men about to tangle for the lightweight title. Miller has also never been stopped, losing both times by decision. The 21-year-old Oliveira is going to have all he can handle on Saturday night.
Joe Stevenson vs. Mac Danzig
This fight is do or die for Danzig. After winning the the sixth season of Spike’s ‘The Ultimate Fighter,’ Mac has gone a discouraging 2-4 inside the octagon. A poor showing on Saturday night could make him the latest TUF winner to be released after not living up to expectations. Fellow TUF season winner Stevenson is coming off a very one sided loss to grappling ace George Sotiropoulos, so I expect him to have a strong rebound on Saturday night. Stevenson claims to be reinvigorated since joining Team Jackson, but whether or not the move helped is yet to be seen.
Thiago Alves vs. John Howard
This fight has as good a chance as any to win the coveted ‘fight of the night’ bonus. If either of these guys make an error, we may also see ‘knockout of the night’ be handed out here. Both men are knockout artists, at their best when standing teeing off. Both men are claiming they plan on doing exactly that, so fans have a great one here to look forward to.
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