Rising featherweight out of Super Bowl weekend card
Koch (13-1, 2-0 UFC) has won four straight, including his first two UFC fights. He made his UFC debut in March at UFC 128 and scored a Knockout of the Night win over Raphael Assuncao. At UFC Fight Night 25 in September, he won a unanimous decision over TUF 12 lightweight winner Jonathan Brookins in Brookins’ return to the featherweight division.
Before Koch moved over to the UFC, he went 3-1 in the WEC, including a first-round Knockout of the Night win just before the merger with the UFC. Koch, who trains with Duke Roufus in Milwaukee, Wis., started his career 8-0 before getting called by the WEC in 2009.
Poirier (11-1, 3-0 UFC) is on a four-fight winning streak of his own, including three straight since making his featherweight debut in the UFC at the start of the year. His fight against Koch may have done much to determine the next challenger for the featherweight title after Chad Mendes meets champion Jose Aldo next month in Brazil.
He now awaits a new opponent for the card. But not long after the UFC announced Koch was out, Poirier said on his Twitter feed he’d be open to a fight with “The Korean Zombie,” Chan Sung Jung. “I’m sure the UFC will give me another great fight for 143 maybe the Zombie!! Sounds like a war to me!,” Poirier said.
UFC 143 takes place Feb. 4 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and features a main event interim welterweight title fight between Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz with champ Georges St-Pierre on the shelf for much of 2012 following surgery on his ACL.