UFC 90 should turn the tide for Josh Koscheck. The 30-year old welterweight should win over many fans considering the fact that he took the fight against Thiago Alves on just two weeks notice. Diego Sanchez was originally scheduled in the slot but had to withdraw because of a rib injury. Koscheck got the call last Monday and didn't hesitate for a second. Kudos to Koscheck but it probably won't do much to win over fans because he is one of the UFC's biggest heels and it may never change.
Koscheck developed that label an as antagonist on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter and has further cemented it by being brutally honest during his short career. Frankly, he can't win for trying. A fan at the ESPNZone in Chicago met Koscheck at the door before the UFC 90 press conference to ask him for an autograph and a picture. Koscheck was gracious and talked to the fan yet 15 minutes later the same guy was overheard saying, "he was nice here, but he's still kind of a jerk."
Koscheck admits it'll probably never change with the fans and it sounds like he doesn't care:
"It's like this if they continue to boo, I'm going to give them a lot to boo about because I'm going to become the UFC champion and then they're really going to be pissed off."
Yahoo! Sports sat down with Koscheck for an exclusive one-on-one where we discussed the role of the fighting heel:
"I think it's good for the sport. I think it gives people something to relate to. When you act a certain way people might like it and people might hate it. You might get a bad rep but they're going to tune in because they want to see what you're going to do next."
Click below to hear a portion of the Koscheck interview (ESPN1100 w/Cofield):
Koscheck also spoke at length about the size issue with Thiago Alves. Alves has had trouble making weight at 170 lbs. in past fights and brags about the fact that he walks around at 195-200 lbs. Koscheck said he thought missing weight is mentally weak, shows a lack of discipline and is disrespectful to the sport.
You can hear the entire Koscheck discussion here. He talks about the decision to take the fight on short notice, his admiration for the marketing genius of Dennis Rodman and his year round commitment to his job.