Simply put, what is going to take place at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday night is the denouement of a tale 39 months in the making.
It is humility versus arrogance, a hero defending his honor and that of his hometown against a mocking xenophobe, a dominant champion battling a hungry challenger. That the UFC welterweight title is on the line makes the narrative even more delicious.
“I love to have a good story behind it,” Josh Koscheck said in a conference call Monday afternoon to hype Saturday’s UFC 124. The main event is Koscheck against Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title. St. Pierre (20-2 overall, 13-2 in UFC) beat East Meadow, N.Y., native Matt Serra at UFC 83 for the title. He has defended his belt by winning unanimous decisions against Jon Fitch (UFC 87), Thiago Alves (UFC 100) and Dan Hardy (UFC 111), along with B.J. Penn’s corner stoppage at UFC 94.
Koscheck (15-4 overall, 13-4 UFC) is 4-2 in his last six fights.
Saturday’s fight is a rematch from UFC 74. St. Pierre dominated Koscheck for three rounds and won a unanimous decision. Both men agreed that what will transpire Saturday will be different than the fight that took place in Las Vegas on Aug. 25, 2007.
St. Pierre added Freddie Roach to his training camp in an attempt to improve his boxing and “knockout power,” as well as his ability to finish fights instead of allowing judges to determine the winner.