Following two cancellations and five months, welterweight Orion Cosce was finally able to have his bout with Mike “Blood Diamond” Mathetha at UFC 277 last July.
Having come into the bout with Mathetha suffering the only loss of his career, Cosce was pleased to get the fight done and pick up a victory and get himself back on track.
“2022 overall, I wish I would have had that fight (earlier) but things happen the way they do for a reason,” Cosce told MMAWeekly.com. “To get back in the Octagon on a PPV, it felt good to just kick it off. It was a fun fight for the fans, a fun fight for us, and I was able to get my hand raised.
“I wish I would have been a little more active, but again, things happen, so I focused on my recovery and health and am ready to get back in there for 2023.”
Coming into his fifth year as a pro, Cosce believes he’s been able to isolate any hitches he’s had in his game and correct them so he can be a better fighter in 2023 than ever before.
“I feel a lot stronger,” said Cosce. “Everything feels like it’s improved drastically in a good way.
“Just anything that I was having to work on that was one of my weaknesses I was able to find sparring and then pick it out through the week, work with my coaches to help me figure out what my weaknesses were, overcome those weaknesses and become a better fighter, a well-rounded fighter, overall.”
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Orion Cosce faces Gilbert Urbina at UFC Vegas 73
On May 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Cosce (8-1) will look to pick up his second consecutive victory when he faces Gilbert Urbina (6-2) in a preliminary welterweight bout at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Hill.
“Gilbert I know is going to be coming out hungry,” Cosce said. “He hasn’t fought in two years, so I’m expecting to see a new version of Gilbert Urbina. I’ve got nothing but respect for him, his team, his camp, and his family.
“I know that he likes to come out strong, but he does have a tendency to come out a little too strong, and if he doesn’t get the finish he gasses (out). He is a very well-rounded opponent, so I’m looking forward to that type of opponent, and am looking forward to a fight that has a mean finish or a Fight of the Night performance.”
While Cosce would fight every week if possible, he knows in order to be as active as he can be over the second half of 2023 he’s got to first get past Urbina on May 20.
“Before I can focus on the second half, I want to get this fight done, then be much more active,” said Cosce. “I’ve always said it in the past, but I really do want to be more active, not just for myself, but my family, friends, all my fans, and the UFC.
“I’d like to fight three or four times before July. If everything goes well, go smooth, hopefully I can get in there in June or something like that. Get my ass in there, get me some fights. I’m the kind of guy who always wants to be active.”