Photos by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC
Erik Koch has had a rough few years. After coming out of Roufussport via Iowa as a top featherweight prospect, Koch has suffered enough injuries and losses to fighters in the top echelon to send him tumbling down to the prelims on Sunday’s card in Las Vegas.
The downward spiral began sometime in 2012, when injuries forced Koch out of two fights, one with Dustin Poirier and the other with then-champ Jose Aldo. Aldo then pulled out of the re-scheduled fight. A fight with Ricardo Lamas was also rescheduled. Once 2013 rolled around, Koch was out of form. Could have been the weight class, it was a long, arduous cut for Koch to get down to featherweight. After suffering losses to Poirier and Lamas, the specter of the belt was no longer holding him down to 145, so Koch decided to go up a class. He told reporters after his TKO of Rafaello Oliviera that it felt much better to be at lightweight, and that he’d balloon up to 195 or more between fights.
But since then Koch suffered a flash KO at the hands of Daron Cruikshank in 2014, pulled out of a fight with Ramsey Nijem in July of 2015 and then pulled out of another scheduled fight against Drew Dober in January of this year. And that is why Koch finds himself an underdog this Sunday, for the first time since his 2010 fight with Chad Mendes in the WEC.
Erik “New Breed” Koch once entranced a young philosopher/author and slid into her book, Thrown, as the co-main and counterpoint to Sean Huffman. Huffman was the amiable can, the one we could all sympathize with as he was pummeled by fists and life and a woman. Koch, on the other hand, was the legit legend in ….View full article