Mike Pierce doesn’t typically call out opponents.

He recently made an exception for Josh Koscheck, though, and now they’re scheduled to meet Feb. 4 at UFC 143.

“For a long time I’ve just been happy fighting whoever [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva put in front of me,” Pierce told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “This time I wanted to make a decision and then I campaigned for it a little bit. Josh Koscheck just seemed like the right guy. He’s a tough guy. He’s fought for the title. I think it will be a good fight, and it could do a lot of things for me in the UFC if I win.”

Koscheck is a top-five welterweight who’s competed at the highest level in the UFC. Pierce is also a quality fighter, but he’s working his way up the ranks and isn’t well known. With that in mind, it could be seen as risky for Koscheck to fight someone as tough as Pierce who isn’t duly credited.

“From a lot of people’s perspectives, this isn’t a fight that he necessarily wanted,” Pierce said. “In a lot of people’s eyes, he has a lot to lose in this, and I understand that. For him to take the fight is a good thing for me and I appreciate it, but I don’t think this is one that he was looking forward to taking.”

Although Koscheck has his share of detractors, Pierce didn’t push for the fight because he hates him. In fact, he said he actually likes his upcoming opponent.

“I was a fan of him back when ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ first came on TV,” Pierce said. “He was the wrestler guy. I’ve always been in the corner of wrestlers. … I always root for them, but yeah, I was a fan of his and now it’s just at the time where I’ve got to get in there and fight now.”

Pierce has seen plenty of Koscheck’s fights. He’ll go back and study more footage to finalize a game plan, but he doesn’t think either fighter will bring many surprises into the matchup.

“We kind of know what his style is,” Pierce said. “There’s no secrets with me. Everybody knows basically what my fighting style is. I like to go forward and press the action. I don’t think there’s going to be any secrets to divulge here. … I think we’re going to see a little bit of everything from him and likewise with me. I’m not sure if it’s going to be a wrestling match because that could get kind of boring, and there’s not really a lot of action going on there to kind of show who’s the decisive winner.”

Both fighters have strong wrestling backgrounds, but Pierce fully expects to exchange strikes with Koscheck. He also hopes to finish him.

“This is going to be an exciting one,” Pierce said. “I’m going to come out there, press the action, get in his face and keep it that way for three rounds if necessary. I’m definitely looking to TKO him.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:33:16).

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