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Criticized by White, Koscheck fires back

Josh Koscheck has proven himself more than capable of holding his own in wars of words with his opponents in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

He made it clear, however, he doesn’t appreciate being called out by his boss.

UFC president Dana White has referred to Koscheck using a far-from-flattering name several times in recent interviews and said Wednesday that he doesn’t ”get along with Koscheck at all.”

Koscheck fired back Saturday.

“Dana White doesn’t like me, apparently. That’s what he says. I’m not a team player. I don’t understand how he can say that. To go on record and say that, I think that’s a bunch of (expletive),” Koscheck said. “I’m the type of fighter that steps up and fights anybody, anytime, anyplace. I’ve taken short-notice fights for him. I always do whatever I’m asked.

“I’m going to prove I’m a team player by winning the show and the welterweight title.”

Koscheck is referring to his role as coach on the 12th season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” which begins filming next week in Las Vegas.

He will coach against champion Georges St. Pierre, and the two will fight for the belt after the season.

Koscheck already set the stage to play his usual role of heel in the bout after beating Paul Daley in St. Pierre’s hometown of Montreal in May to earn the title shot.

He took the microphone and taunted the crowd about St. Pierre and the Montreal Canadiens.

Koscheck appears to know the importance of self-promotion.

“I always use this analogy because I respect Dennis Rodman and what he did. He was one of the best rebounders in the NBA, but he didn’t really get noticed until he started acting like a crazy man,” Koscheck said. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to do things for myself and my business to make money so I don’t have to work. It’s not like we’re getting paid $50 million or $60 million a fight like (Floyd) Mayweather.”

White hinted during a question-and-answer session with fans Friday that the Koscheck-St. Pierre fight would take place in Toronto if the Ontario legislature legalizes MMA in the province. He also intimated that Koscheck’s hometown of Pittsburgh could be the second option.

■ HUGHES IN HALL — Two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes was enshrined Friday as the eighth inductee to the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Hughes had seven successful title defenses over his two title reigns in the 170-pound division and owns six wins over current or former UFC champions.

“I never thought about this, to be honest,” he said in a release. “I’m just a Midwest guy kind of living the dream. But I’m very privileged, and I thank the UFC.”

■ ‘MMA LIVE’ TO CONTINUE — The weekly news show “MMA Live” will continue airing at 10 p.m. Thursday on ESPN2 at least through August, the network announced Saturday.

The show was originally developed for ESPN.com in 2008 and began airing on ESPN2 in May on a trial basis.

The network also has aired MMA Live postfight broadcasts from inside the arena after UFC 113 and UFC 114.

■ FAN EXPO A SUCCESS — Officials from the UFC and MGM Mirage said about 125,000 fans attended the UFC Fan Expo at Mandalay Bay on Friday and Saturday.

Estimates from the first event in July 2009 ranged from 30,000 to 50,000.

■ UP NEXT — Rashad Evans gained a likely title shot against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua with his win over Quinton “Rampage” Jackson in the main event of UFC 114 on Saturday.

Jackson, who is now off to do a publicity tour for “The A-Team” movie, said he would like to return to action soon.

White mentioned Lyoto Machida as a possible opponent.

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

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