(We dare you to look this man in the
nipples eyes and call him a liar.)
A few weeks ago, you may recall that former welterweight title contender Josh Koscheck had some rather hateful things to say about his former training camp, American Kickboxing Academy, when asked about his split from the organization by Ariel Helwani. To sum it up, Kos basically called head trainer Javier Mendez a fraud, and alluded that anyone over at AKA was only successful as a result of their training partners. He also vowed to never step foot in San Jose again, unless it was to open up a competing gym, preferably placed across the street and run by White Goodman. Yeah, that’s my second Dodgeball reference today. Deal with it.
Anyway, when fellow UFC welterweight and former AKA associate Brian Ebersole caught wind of this interview, he became rather irritated by Koscheck’s insolence, and proceeded to put his whole departure in perspective when interviewed by VigilanteMMA. We’re not sure if Ebersole’s attempts to tear a new asshole where one clearly already existed may result in some sort of time warp, paradox, or black hole, but check out what he had to say:
He’s always a bit flippant and disrespectful to Helwani, but this last interview was ridiculous. Bad attempts at humor and despite the line of questioning, he brought it back to the drama/breakup he had with AKA. He went well out of his way to slander Javier Mendez and the system that AKA has built. Very disrespectful. Koscheck was not a self-made UFC star, as he’d like you to believe. There are more guys than just me that remember him punching like a girl for a few years. He’s figured it out now, and punches with power, but he didn’t do that on his own.
It is a well known fact that Ebersole has been in the MMA game long enough to train at literally every gym from here to Thailand, so it’s not like his take on Koscheck’s previous skill level is a fabrication. But it doesn’t stop there, and in fact, Ebersole cites several incidents that have led him to his current assessment of the TUF 1 alumnus, the first of which occurred during one of his recent returns to the San Jose-based gym. As he recalls:
Josh came out to AKA in 2004, but he didn’t come straight out to live in San Jose. He immediately settled into Fresno, where our manager lived in a mansion, had a private jet, and set Josh up with a cozy income-earning position coaching wrestling, privately, to groups of school-kids. Being AKA’s first All-American wrestler, he seemed to have gotten the royal treatment. That’s my view, looking back. With that, Mr. Koscheck traveled into San Jose when he saw fit.
I’m not alone in thinking he’s a dick. I revisited AKA a time or two since I’d moved to Australia. The first time, I came off of a 14-hour flight and went straight to the gym. I announced that I had a fairly serious neck injury. I had a decent spar with Fitch, who held me down and beat me up, but kept a respectable speed/intensity. But Koscheck acted like I was standing in the way of him and a paycheck. And socially, he was very abrasive per usual.
And as for AKA’s current lineup of coaches, which includes such legendary names as Bob Cook and Dave Camarillo, Ebersole couldn’t help but find Koscheck’s comments to be a bit delusional:
I think AKA has some of the most talented coaches he could have asked for. Camarillo, BJJ/Judo Black belt. Javier was a world champion. Bob Cook was an undefeated MMA fighter and is widely regarded as Frank Shamrock’s best student. Jerome Turcan, who handled my striking development, is a multiple time French Savate Champion and a former K-1 Finalist. He couldn’t get good work in? It was there to be had. He mentioned that Javier coached him but that he didn’t learn anything. Really? I learn from BJJ blue belts whilst I travel the globe teaching and training. And you can’t learn from a former World Champion? That’s a curious comment, if you ask me, which you did.
If he had any problems with Javier, it’s because Javier was the only one that would conflict with him. Most of the coaches are very non-confrontational. Javier tells it how he sees it. Josh probably had a big problem anytime criticism came; and 90% of that would have come from Javier, because it was not in the nature of the other coaches. Not surprising that they butted heads. And not surprising that Kos has acted like a child in regard to his life-changing plans. Disappointing to many, no doubt. But not surprising to anyone who knows him.
I think it was pretty obvious from the start that Koscheck’s departure from AKA was much more personal than he led on, and it’s nice to hear from someone outside of the camp that this notion is probably true. Koscheck is set to take on Johny Hendricks at UFC on Fox 3 in May, but after that, who would be interested in seeing him take on Ebersole in one of those good old fashioned grudge matches the UFC loves so much? Koscheck has stated before that he thinks rankings are bullshit, so surely he’d be up for a fight against a UFC up-and-comer like Ebersole, right?