It came as a bit of a surprise to the MMA world when TUF 1 alum and former welterweight number one contender Josh Koscheck announced that he would be departing from long time training camp American Kickboxing Academy in the wake of his narrow split decision win over Mike Pierce at UFC 143. A member of the gym since 2006, Koscheck had widely credited the facility for the improved striking he displayed in his devastating knockout wins over Dustin Hazelett, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, and Frank Trigg. The tight unity between AKA members became a well known facet of the gym, so much so that training partners often refused to fight one another no matter what the repercussions, or benefits for that matter, would be as a result.
And though Koscheck still holds to the claim that he would rather retire than fight former training partner John Fitch, he has taken a 180 in terms of giving his former gym its due credit. If we didn’t know any better, it almost seems as if Koscheck is, dare we say, a little bitter about the whole thing. When asked about the situation by Ariel Helwani, and specifically his feelings towards AKA head trainer Javier Mendez, here’s what he had to say:
For the record, he was never my coach. He tagged along here and there, but I think I’m in a better place now…I think Bob Cook will always be the man over there…it’s good to be around real coaches that care and real coaches that put time in and real coaches that will put the effort to make your fighter the best, and I have that now.
Of course [Javier] worked with me, but did I learn anything? Meh. It is what it is. I’m done with that chapter of my life and I prefer not to talk about it. I prefer to talk about Dethrone Base Camp in Fresno. That’s where it’s happening right now.
Join us after the jump for the entire video interview, complements of MMAFighting, along with a few more Koscheckian excerpts.