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Déjà Vu for Kos, as GSP Wins Again

Georges St-Pierre repeated his victory over Josh Koscheck, this time by way of a shutout five round unanimous decision.
MONTREAL, December 11 – The last man to take a round from UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre in a prize fight was Josh Koscheck, back in August of 2007. Saturday night before 23,000 plus at the Bell Centre, Montreal’s own St-Pierre made sure that wasn’t going to be the case the second time around, as he repeated his victory over the number one contender, this time by way of a shutout five round unanimous decision. See post-fight interview

“I didn’t reach my goal tonight,” said St-Pierre. “I wanted to take him out, but he’s very tough.”

“Georges St-Pierre is a true champion,” said Koscheck, whose one-sided war of words with the champion extended to The Ultimate Fighter season 12, where both were coaches. “St-Pierre is the man tonight. He had a great gameplan, he executed very well, and he showed why he’s the best pound-for-pound.”

Scores were 50-45 across the board for St-Pierre, who defended his title for the fifth consecutive time.

“My hat is off to him,” added the champion, who squashed his beef with Koscheck following the bout. “He came to Montreal to fight me in hostile territory.”

Not surprisingly, Koscheck was bathed in boos as he walked to the Octagon, and the challenger embraced them.  St-Pierre, greeted by the adulation of his countrymen, practically ran from his locker room, eager to get down to business, and after the packed house drowned out announcer Bruce Buffer during the opening introductions, he did just that, taking Koscheck down within 20 seconds of the bell.

Koscheck got right back up, but seemed content to let St-Pierre lead, looking for a chance to counter. A second St-Pierre takedown attempt was defended well by Koscheck, who was showing a mouse under his right eye. St-Pierre peppered Koscheck with whipping jabs to the face, occasionally following up with a right hand or kick. With less than two minutes left, Koscheck got more deliberate in stalking the champion, but he still wasn’t scoring or forcing St-Pierre to deviate from his fight plan. Eventually, he attempted a takedown and was able to pin the champion to the fence, but it wasn’t until 18 seconds remained that he got St-Pierre to the mat.

As Koscheck walked back to his corner, the swelling under his eye worsened, drawing a roar from the crowd when shown on the big screens.  A confident St-Pierre walked out of his corner and again began to pepper his foe with quick lefts and rights. Koscheck seemed to be in a trance at the end of St-Pierre’s punches, unable to get his offense in gear. The occasional winging right hand would come out, letting St-Pierre know he was still there, but as the round progressed, the prospect of a changing of the guard looked to be slimming for the former national wrestling champion.

Both fighters were putting a little more heat on their strikes to begin round three, before locking up against the fence after a failed St-Pierre takedown attempt. Midway through the round, the stalemate ended as the fighters pushed off each other and broke free. Another lock-up ensued, with the same result. Koscheck swung another wild right, not even coming close, and St-Pierre went on to play matador to a wild bull-rush from his challenger before ending the round with another quick series of strikes.

Between rounds, the Octagonside physician took a long look at Koscheck’s nearly closed eye, but allowed the fight to continue. St-Pierre went at his foe at the bell, taking him down with a thudding slam. Kocheck battled his way up, but with St-Pierre attached to him against the fence. After a stall in the action, referee Herb Dean restarted the bout, and for the first time it was looking like fatigue was setting in on the champion. Koscheck responded by upping his work-rate slightly, hoping to land the haymaker that would turn the fight around. St-Pierre’s defense was solid though and so were the quick strikes that continued to make his opponent’s night miserable. With a minute left, St-Pierre began opening up, but after a punishing flurry, he took his foot off the gas, keeping Koscheck in the fight for another round.

St-Pierre began leading with his left hook as the final round began, and Koscheck wasn’t even seeing them coming. The challenge gamely looked for a takedown twice, only to come up short both times. What followed was more of the same from St-Pierre as he pecked and poked at Koscheck and was safely out of reach when any return fire came. With less than 90 seconds left, St-Pierre took Koscheck down twice in succession, and while he couldn’t keep him on the canvas, the point was made, and St-Pierre had done what he said in pre-fight interviews he wanted to do - he got Josh Koscheck out of his life.

With the win, St-Pierre improves to 21-2; Koscheck falls to 17-5.

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