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Johny Hendricks expected eye-poke from Josh Koscheck

When it comes to analyzing an opponent a fighter scouts a variety of techniques and tendencies in hopes of gaining a better understanding of what’s to come when the cage door closes. However, as Johny Hendricks recently revealed, the focus isn’t always on a certain style of striking, submission-savvy on the ground, or even cardio-level.

During the opening round of his co-headlining clash last weekend with Josh Koscheck at UFC on FOX 3 the 28-year old Hendricks got an unwelcome close up of his foe’s finger, though not necessarily an unexpected one.

“He landed a lot because he poked my eye and I was seeing double for the first three minutes. I didn’t see clearly again until the second round. So the first round I was trying to circle away and close one eye every so often so I could get a good fix on him and try to throw,” said Hendricks in an interview with Fuel TV after the show’s conclusion. “He does it every fight. That’s just him. We knew about it. That’s why I was trying to throw and move my head out of the way. I was moving my head more this fight when I was trying to throw punches because I didn’t want to get poked in the eye because he’s always sticking that hand out there. It ended up catching me and it hurt me.”

In fact, the 13-1 Oklahoman even asked the in-ring official about the possibility before the bout had even begun, approaching him backstage to gauge what sort of action would be taken.

“I said, ‘If he pokes me in the eye, what are you doing to do?’ He said, ‘I can’t stop it, you don’t get a five-minute break, and you can’t say you can’t see, or the fight is going to be over,’” stated Hendricks, showing why he pressed through the first frame’s adversity rather than risk having the ringside doctor end things.

Clearly Hendricks’ decision was the right one as he dished out as much as he took throughout the remainder of the rumble and even a little more according to the judging panel who handed him the Split Decision win once things were said and done.


  • Mad_Hatter_XX says:

    Thought Kos won the fight but, it was too close to say it was a bad decision.

    I would like to see Kos v Diego. Both well known guys stuck in the middle of WW division. Prolly not gonna see another title fight but, still capable of putting on a good fight.

    Maybe headlining a free card on FX or Fuel. Give them five rounds to throw down.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    It was definitely a close call but I leaned towards Hendricks for a couple reasons…

    1) The eye poke. Intentional or not, it seemed quite obvious it was a factor in the 1st round and gave Kos a cheap advantage.

    2) Kos was more busted up. Sometimes one flukey shot can turn a guy’s face ugly, and it shouldn’t outweigh the rest of what transpired in the fight, but in the event of a really close fight I do give credence to the eyeball test. After all, it’s a fight. At the end you can often tell who won (or lost) by looking at them.

  • Lord Faust says:

    I gave Hendricks the fight on damage. It was a close fight, but Josh has won enough lame decisions he can suck that one up.

    He pokes everyone in the eyes, intentionally leads with open hands, and throws his fingers out any time someone rushes him. Combined with his terrible sell job on the phantom knee in the Daley fight (I think it was that fight, anyway) and Kos just screams “dirty fighter”.

  • darth_irritable says:

    Kos apparently uses my sport supplement store. The owner says he’s a douche in real life too.

    I feel like this fight was the same as Liddell Couture II, where an eyepoke gave one fighter the advantage. The difference was, Liddell was good enough to capitalize.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Tito also took a nasty eye poke from Chuck but, let’s be real, in that instance it just brought about the end quicker.

  • Angry Mike says:


    Way off point, but there’s an interesting article by Reid Forgrave on the Fox site about why MMA/UFC is having trouble getting sanctioned in New York. Maybe a link for reference later this week.

  • drstu says:

    Is that ref saying eye pokes are now legal strikes? Every fighter should be jabbing away right from the get go.
    I was expecting Kos to dive again, the eye poke was no surprise.

  • Lord Faust says:

    It doesn’t make sense no matter how you cut it, since Elliot got time to recover when Dodson double-thumbed his eyes.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    The way I see it Koscheck should have lost to Pierce so two tears in a bucket, f*ck it as far as him getting slightly robbed in the Hendricks fight (as he did).

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Faust the phantom knee was from the rumble fight

  • Lord Faust says:

    Thanks Jab, Kos’ fights are very memorable except for reasons like that.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    I’m confused by that as well drstu. Kos’ last fight before Hendricks Herb Dean was on the verge of disqualifying him I think because he kept yelling at him to close his hand when he jabbed.

  • Screenplaya says:

    I am with Mad Hatter. Give us 5 rounds of Koscheck vs Sanchez. I think both are pretty douchey and would love to see them beat the beejeezuz out of one another. The ludicrous trash talk that would precede such a fight would be awesome. Probably the only matchup in which Kos has a chance of winning the crowd.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Kos and Diego would be a lot of trash talking probably enough that Dana will put them on the next TUF granted that he said recently he wants to use well known UFC veterans.


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