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Tag: Josh Koscheck

Exclusive Interview: Jon Fitch

Jon Fitch is well aware of his underdog status going into tomorrow night’s title fight with Georges St. Pierre. He knows not many people are expecting him to win, but he doesn’t seem to care. In this exclusive interview he talks about what it’s going to take to beat GSP and why he feels he still isn’t getting the respect he deserves from fans and “self-proclaimed experts.”

CagePotato.com: Hey Jon, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Now that we’re so close to the fight, how are you feeling?

Great. Training went really well. Had a great camp, a lot of people have been helping me out. I feel really confident. I feel really great right now.

Who did you have working with you to help you get ready for GSP?

The usual guys like Josh Koscheck and Mike Swick, everybody at AKA. And then Jake Shields was coming in for three weeks or so, helping me out. Even Brock Larson, who was a former opponent of mine, was in town helping me out for a couple of weeks. So I had really great guys working with me.

Was Koscheck able to give you any special insight about GSP based on his fight with him?

Yeah, he helped me with little things, like what GSP’s strength is like, what his speed is like, stuff like that. Just knowing that he’s fast and strong is one thing, but knowing how fast and how strong is another. Knowing how I compare to him in those departments, those kinds of things really helped.

I heard you say before that Koscheck didn’t really work his wrestling before his fight with GSP. Is that true? I’d imagine you’re not making the same mistake in your training.

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“UFC 86: Jackson vs. Griffin” — Blow by Blow

Quinton Rampage Jackson Forrest Griffin UFC

Rampage and Opie battle for the light-heavyweight belt, Cote and Alemeida scrap for the #1 middleweight contender spot, Joe Stevenson tries to keep his blood inside his head, Josh Koscheck and Chris Lytle try to make it two in a row…and that’s pretty much it. Not an awesome card, but UFN 14 is just two weeks from now, and sometimes quantity is quality. Results from the UFC 86 undercard and live updates from the PPV broadcast are after the jump; refresh your browser every few minutes to read all the latest, and share your reactions in the comments section.

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Koscheck Looking For Fight With Penn?

Yahoo! Sports has an article claiming that Josh Koscheck “wouldn’t mind” dropping to lightweight to take on B.J. Penn at some point in the future. This, apparently, because there is a perceived lack of credible challengers in the UFC’s lightweight division, which is already a questionable thesis to begin with.

But assuming you go along with it, then you’re expected to make the leap to believing that Josh Koscheck is the savior the division needs. Koscheck himself sounds only lukewarm about the idea:

“You never know,” he said, beaming, when confronted about his ability to make the lightweight limit of 155 pounds. “If people would want to see me fight B.J. Penn at 155 for the title, because there is really nobody there for him to fight, I’d do it.”

[...]

“I know B.J. very well, but business is business,” Koscheck said. “We’re friends, but at the end of the day, it’s about making money together. If the fans would want to see it, I’d suck it up and I’d live that life to where I’d do whatever I have to do to make 155.”

These statements make Koscheck seem far from eager to go down in weight and face Penn, but what’s interesting is the assertion that there is “really nobody there for him to fight.”

On the surface this seems kind of true, but only because Penn is so dominant right now that we assume whoever claims the number one contender spot will inevitably be destroyed by him. The reality is that the 155-pound division is one of the deepest weight classes in the UFC and the sport as a whole. Maybe Penn will beat every credible challenger in the division, but shouldn’t he do that before we just assume that he will?

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Ben vs. Ben: The UFC 86 Argument, July 4th Edition


(Can I get a USA chant?)

With Independence Day upon us and UFC 86 just one day away, what better way to celebrate both occasions than by arguing over every insignificant detail of the weekend to come. That’s what we do best, after all, which may mean only that we do everything else exceptionally poorly.

Don’t forget to check out our UFC 86 Liveblog tomorrow night where you can get in on the heated bickering — and in real time!

Who’s next in line for a shot at the UFC light heavyweight title after Jackson-Griffin?

Fowlkes: As always in the UFC, who’s next depends on who wins. If Jackson wins, which is the more likely outcome, then the UFC is faced with two distinct possibilities, both of them involving rematches.

Chuck Liddell probably only needs to beat Rashad Evans to be back at the top of the list. That’s not necessarily because a win over “Sugar” Rashad is so impressive, but because the UFC knows they could get big money for Jackson-Liddell III.

The same is true regarding Wanderlei Silva. He needs at least one more win and even then it would be just barely credible to put him in a title fight with “Rampage”, but barely credible is more than enough for the UFC.

If Griffin wins, however, all bets are off. Anyone with anything resembling a winning streak is a candidate, except maybe Lyoto Machida. An immediate rematch with Jackson wouldn’t be out of the question, nor would a Griffin-Liddell scenario. Either way, Liddell should be the odds-on favorite to get the next shot, provided he doesn’t get lay-and-prayed to death by Evans.

Goldstein: Dude? Silva destroyed Rampage twice in PRIDE, which makes him a whole lot more than “barely credible,” no matter what he’s accomplished in the UFC so far. Sure, Wandy would probably need another win just to keep up appearances, but Jackson vs. Silva is the match that needs to happen for Rampage’s title reign to have true legitimacy. And if the UFC felt like playing up their history, they could surely convince the casual Chuck-hugging fans that Silva deserves it more.

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Exclusive Interview: Josh Koscheck

Josh Koscheck Mar Clothing UFC MMA
(Kos, rockin’ the “Skullburst Burnout.”)

Josh Koscheck has been one of the UFC’s most prominent figures since the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he beat Chris Leben but was defeated by the show’s eventual middleweight winner, Diego Sanchez. After leaving the show, he became a mainstay in the UFC’s welterweight division, using his background as a Division I college wrestling champion to knock off guys like Dave Menne, Jonathan Goulet, and Sanchez in a hotly anticipated rematch. Though he seemed like an imminent contender for the 170-pound belt, a frustrating decision loss against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 74 sent him to the back of the line. On Saturday he continues his quest for re-ascension, taking on TUF 4 finalist Chris Lytle. We caught up to Josh after one of his final training sessions in preparation for UFC 86, and shot the shit about fighter pay, “The Nightmare,” and his secret life as a t-shirt mogul.

***

CagePotato.com: Not to take anything away from Chris Lytle, but he has a losing record in the UFC. Do you feel like you should be fighting a higher-ranked welterweight at this point?
Josh Koscheck: No. After my loss to Georges St. Pierre I have to work my way back up through the ranks. In order to be the #1 contender you have to beat whoever they put in front of you, and that’s my plan.

What part of Lytle’s game are you most concerned about?
I don’t really know too much about him, I just know he’s pretty good on his feet and he’s got pretty good jiu-jitsu. My concerns are myself — coming in prepared, which I definitely am, and taking the opportunity to get the job done.

This is the first fight on your new UFC contract extension. Would you say you’re getting paid what you deserve now?
I don’t know that answer; that’s up to my managers. My job is to train and fight. My managers got me the contract so I guess that’s what I deserve right now. Obviously, it’s human nature to want more money. You probably want more money to interview me today. But it’s just a matter of time. Yeah, UFC fighters deserve a lot more money, and it’s coming. The sport’s growing, and as the UFC brand grows, the fighters will make more money.

Do you have any interest in fighting Diego Sanchez again? Your last fight with him was called into question because he was supposedly suffering from a staph infection at the time. Do you feel the need to prove it was a legitimate win?

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Bookings a Poppin’: Barnett, Monson, Koscheck + More

JB
(“Hey, my name’s Josh and I’m a sex addict.”)

— A heavyweight superfight between Josh Barnett and Jeff Monson has been announced as the main event of Sengoku II (May 18th, Tokyo); the card will also feature fights between Kevin Randleman and Ryo Kawamura, and Roger Gracie taking on an opponent to be named later. In recent weeks, Monson has also been reportedly booked to face Mike Russow at Adrenaline MMA’s debut event (June 14th, Chicago), as well as Kevin Randleman at a Global Fighting event on June 21st in Charlotte, N.C. With those three fights so close together, expect at least one to fall apart. Monson most recently defeated Hakim Gouram at a Ring of Fire event last December.

— Speaking of Adrenaline MMA, Monte Cox has been scurrying around trying to fill its first card. Besides Monson/Russow, the June 14th show is expected to feature IFL vet Bart Palaszewski taking on King of the Cage/UFC vet Jeff Cox, and ex-UFC fighter/boxer Terry Martin taking on Daiju Takase.

— The UFC officially added three fights to UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas): Josh Koscheck vs. Chris “Lights Out” Lytle, Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida, and Cole Miller vs. Jorge Gurgel. Lytle and Almeida are coming off of impressive stoppage wins at UFC 81 in February, where Lytle picked up the “Knockout of the Night” bonus. UFC 86 will be headlined by the light-heavyweight title scrap between Quinton Jackson and Forrest Griffin, and is also expected to feature bouts between Joe Stevenson and Gleison Tibau, Frank Mir and Justin McCully, and Ben Saunders vs. Jared Rollins.

— As for the Ultimate Fighter 7 finale on June 21st, the UFC has confirmed that Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove will be the show’s main event — not Diego Sanchez vs. Luigi Fioravanti, which will get secondary status. Also officially booked are Spencer Fisher vs. Jeremy Stephens, Josh Burkman vs. Dustin Hazelett, Marvin Eastman vs. Drew McFedries, and Jeremy Horn vs. Dean Lister. And of course Tim Credeur vs. CB Dollaway (one would assume).

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Koscheck to Face Lytle, Mir to Face McCully, Xyience to Face Angry Creditors

FM
(Frank Mir poses in front of the world’s ugliest ring girls.)

Some UFC-related notes as we build up to tonight’s four-hour block of awesomeness…

— Josh Koscheck, who recently signed a new multi-fight contract with the UFC, confirmed yesterday that he will be facing Chris Lytle at UFC 86 (July 5th, Las Vegas). “Lights Out” Lytle (25-15-5, 4-7 UFC) has lost to a who’s who of welterweight stars during his time in the Octagon — Matt Hughes, Matt Serra, Robbie Lawler, and Karo Parisyan among them — but may be on the comeback trail after beating the dogshit out of Kyle Bradley at UFC 81.

— Frank Mir and Justin McCully have also been booked for a bout at UFC 86. With the heavyweight class as thin as it is right now, we wouldn’t put it past the UFC to offer Mir an immediate title shot depending on his performance in July; his disposal of Brock Lesnar at “Breaking Point” proved that he could still be a viable contender. McCully won a decision against Antoni Hardonk during his UFC debut last April, and has won his last four fights overall, but the matchup still feels like it’s intended to be a tuneup for the former champion.

— Xyience Inc. was sold yesterday to Manchester Consolidated Corp. for $15 million. According to the Las Vegas Review Journal:

The sale price will cover only part of the secured debt at Xyience, debtor attorney Laurel Davis said after the hearing. As a result, unsecured creditors and stockholders in Xyience will recover none of their money, she said…

Manchester, which submitted the only approved bid, will pay $200,000 in cash and will assume $14.8 million in debt…

Separately, unsecured creditors on Monday filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the judge should take $14.8 million in assets from the Fertittas for the benefit of Xyience creditors.

In related news, that hot brunette from the Xyience commercials has been spotted wearing a barrel held up by suspenders. Okay, not really, but it’s an amusing image!

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Talking [Expletive] With Dana White, Josh Koscheck, Shonie Carter, and More

KosDS
(Koscheck/Sanchez 3 will happen when Kos allows it to happen.)

People don’t stop running their mouths just because it’s the weekend. Here’s what you may have missed…

Dana White on haters: “All I have to say about that is don’t ever (expletive) doubt us. All these (expletive) idiots out there that like to talk (expletive) and (expletive) don’t ever doubt us, man. Don’t ever, ever doubt us.”

Josh Koscheck on Diego Sanchez: “I think I’m in his head. He’s only been thinking and focusing about me for the last year. It’s actually kind of nice. He’s in the same shoes I was after The Ultimate Fighter. For two straight years I woke up every morning hating Diego Sanchez.”

Rich Franklin on his future title prospects: “Realistically, another fight with Anderson wouldn’t be that interesting for fans.”

Dana White on stock car racing: “You come over to my house this weekend and we kick back and watch TV. We put on (expletive) NASCAR. We’re like, ‘Holy (expletive). Look at all the (expletive) people at this race. All those fans and this and that. These guys got television deals and merchandise deals and all this crazy (expletive). You know what? Let’s steal two of their drivers, and let’s start our own (expletive) company. We’ll call it (expletive), you know, GASCAR instead of (expletive) NASCAR.’ That’s how (expletive) stupid it is.”

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Full Payout Info for UFC 82

CL
(The Crippler was rewarded handsomely for his blood-loss.)

The UFC paid out a chunky $932,000 in official salaries and bonuses on Saturday night, with Anderson Silva unsurprisingly coming out the big winner. The amounts are below; these figures don’t include any undisclosed “locker room bonuses” that are often given out to headliners and other fighters who put on noteworthy performances.

Anderson Silva — $260,000 ($70,000 to show, $70,000 to win, plus $120,000 in bonuses)
Dan Henderson — $160,000 ($100,000 to show, $60,000 for Fight of the Night bonus)
Andrei Arlovski — $170,000 ($105,000 to show, $65,000 to win)
Heath Herring — $140,000 ($70,000 to show, $70,000 to win)
Chris Leben — $110,000 ($25,000 to show, $25,000 to win, $60,000 for Knockout of the Night bonus)
Jon Fitch — $60,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 to win)
Diego Sanchez — $60,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 to win)
Cheick Kongo — $30,000
Yushin Okami — $28,000 ($14,000 to show, $14,000 to win)
Evan Tanner — $25,000
Josh Koscheck — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Alessio Sakara — $17,000
Luigi Fioravanti — $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Luke Cummo — $16,000
Jorge Gurgel — $14,000 ($7,000 to show, $7,000 to win)
Dustin Hazelett — $12,000
Chris Wilson — $12,000
Jake O’Brien — $11,000
David Bielkheden — $8,000
John Halverson — $3,000

Underpaid: Josh Koscheck, who is still finishing out the indentured servitude of his Ultimate Fighter contract.
Overpaid: Luke Cummo, who didn’t do much that resembled work during his 15 minute grabass with Luigi Fioravanti.

(Props: MMA Mania)

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UFC 82 Videos: Koscheck/Hazelett, Arlovski/O’Brien, and More

Josh Koscheck vs. Dustin Hazelett, the best fight of the undercard. Awesome exchanges in the beginning, explosive finish at the end.

Andrei Arlovski vs. Jake O’Brien. Feel free to skip past the entire first round.

More fights after the jump…

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