Josh Koscheck hoping to return by the end of the year

Josh Koscheck was scheduled to be in the co-main of UFC 151 in two weeks against Jake Ellenburger, but the former title contender had to pull out of the fight with an injury.

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The injury that caused him to pull out of the fight against Ellenberger was a bulging disk in his back.

During his appearance on this week’s “The MMA Report Podcast,” Koscheck said the injury happened a couple of weeks ago.

“Injury happened probably about two or three weeks ago,” Koscheck said. “I was trying to push through it for about a week. Training by swimming a lot with grappling and wrestling just kind of became overbearing on my body.  I was just having a hard time just sitting down and driving a car or even just sitting a seat without the pain.”

Koscheck (17-6) does not have a definite time table for his return to the octagon, but he is shooting for a return late this year.

“I would like to fight by the end of the year hopefully,” he said. “I’ve been seeing a lot of doctors and I’ve got a couple of shots put into it. We will see over the course of the next couple of weeks how it reacts and how I react to the treatment.”

Until he knows how his body is handing the treatment, the UFC will not book him for a fight. He is coming off a split decision lost to Johny Hendricks at UFC on FOX 3, which many people believe he did enough to get the decision victory.

Two of the three judges scoring the fight gave two of the three rounds to Hendricks. The judges agreed that Koscheck won the first round and that Hendricks won the second round. However, the judges disagreed with the scoring in the third round. Only one judge felt that Koscheck did enough to win the round.

Koscheck knows it was a close decision, but still feels like he did enough to come away with the victory.

“I think about it all the time and every time someone brings it up, I don’t like to talk about it. That was a tough way to go out and it was a close decision. I thought that I won two of the rounds at least, the first and the third round. When you finish on top of someone for the last two minutes of the fight, usually you are winning. It is what it is and there is nothing I can do about it now.”

The Ultimate Fighter alum has hinted about the possibility of moving up in weight, but that has not happened at this time. At this stage of his career, he would like big money fights, but he knows that he just needs to win.

“At this point in my career, it’s about winning,” he said. “I got win and I got to win fights. Money fights are great, but at the end of the day I got to buckle down and ask myself what the hell are you fighting for.  The reason why I fight is because I want to win. If I was fighting for a paycheck, I would just been like I’m injured and I’m going to take the Ellenberger fight. Just show up and collect a check, but that’s not the case. I’m at a point at my career that it’s mandatory that I have to win.