By Ray Hamill — Even at the UFC level, fighters are apparently wary of facing off against The Monster.
Since earning a UFC contract after another dominating performance at the Dana White Contender Series in August, Humboldt County’s Louis Cosce has had difficulty finding his next opponent.
Four fighters backed down from the challenge before finally Hong Kong’s Sasha Palatnikov last week accepted a November 21st showdown at UFC 255, barely two weeks before the event.
“Four people said no, so I didn’t think I was going to be fighting (at UFC 255),” Cosce admitted. “And then out of nowhere last Wednesday they offered it (and Palatnikov accepted) and here we are.”
Nicknamed “The Monster,” Cosce is 7-0 as a pro fighter and has decisively ended all seven of his fights in the first round, including two in the opening 18 seconds.
He comfortably got the better of the favored Victor Reyna in the first round at the Dana White Contender Series in his last fight.
And Cosce is confident of another decisive finish against Palatnikov, who is 5-2 and the first-ever fighter from Hong Kong to feature in a UFC event.
“He looks like a tough guy, and I think he’s a stand-up fighter,” Cosce said. “But I’m going to look to knock him out. I do it to them before they do it to me.”
The former Hoopa High wrestler also admits that winning quickly “looks good to the boss,” especially now that his payouts include performance-based bonuses.
Ready to go
Preparation for the 25-year-old’s UFC debut has been going well, and the short notice won’t bother Cosce, who was ready to go at a moment’s notice if the offer came along.
And with less than two weeks to go, the final preparations have now begun.
“I just keep training hard, and next week I’ll slow it down and make weight,” he said.
Along with older brother Orion, who also earned a UFC contract at the White series in August, the two MMA fighters have become local celebrities of sorts.
But that hasn’t changed much for Louis, who remains as determined as ever.
“It’s my full-time job now,” he said. “All I do is take care of my kid, train, eat and recover. This is my life now and I love it.”
He admits that he has felt the community support continue to grow.
“I definitely get a lot of love,” he said. “It feels pretty good to have the support and stuff.”
And next week’s fight, he hopes, is just the next step on the way to the top of the UFC.
“My goal is to be a world-class competitor and eventually grab the belt,” he said.
Cosce fights out of the Lost Boys gym in Arcata.