By Chris Howie
February 19th, 2009
This Saturday, February 21st, Josh “Kos” Koscheck (12-3) will return to action inside the UFC Octagon following a December victory over Yoshiyuki Yoshida via a stunning KO in the first round on the UFC: Fight for our Troops card. It was third (T)KO of his career and second of 2008.
Following a loss to Georges St. Pierre too close 2007, Koscheck came back strong in 2008, going 3-1 as he makes his way back up the ladder to the top of the UFC Welterweight division. Too start 2009, Kos will challenge UFC newcomer Paulo Thiago as he makes his first trip across the pond to England and the O2 Arena in London.
MMANews.com was able to speak with Kos last week before he hopped on a plane over the weekend to head overseas. Kos talks about his training, thoughts on Thiago, AKA, and much more in this exclusive interview with our very own Chris Howie.
Chris Howie For MMANews.com: How has your preparation gone for this upcoming bout with Paulo Thiago at UFC 95?
Josh Koscheck: It’s good man. Training is pretty much done and I just have this last week to do before we head to London on Sunday. Overall everything has gone really well.
MMANews.com: Have you changed anything up for this fight in your training considering it will be the first time you have to fly over seas and such?
Josh Koscheck: Nope. Everything has been one hundred percent the same as every other fight. I’m just looking at this as another fight. I’m trying to test myself and go out there and get another victory. I don’t really care where I fight as long as I get there and have time to get situated and such and then I will just show up and fight.
MMANews.com: You don’t expect the jet lag or travel to take it’s toll on you?
Josh Koscheck: Naw, I’ll just get there six days ahead of time so I’ll be able to adjust to that fine – I’m not worried about it.
MMANews.com: What are your thoughts on Paulo Thiago?
Josh Koscheck: Ummm, I don’t really know anything about him. I know he’s a jiu-jitsu guy and that he is from Brazil but other than that I’ve never seen any tape on him and too be honest with you I don’t even know what he looks like. I’ll find all that out at the press conference and the weigh in’s and such. So, you know, it is what it is. It’s a fight. I’m going to step up and fight him, put the beat down on him, and come back stateside to get ready for the next one.
MMANews.com: Now you had fought four times in 2008 and this will be your first of 2009. The stories going around say that you plan to fight six times in 2009 if possible. What are your plans?
Josh Koscheck: Yeah I’m trying to fight five or six times this year for sure and I’ve been putting the pressure on the UFC to get me fights. I just want to be busy and get out there and fight as much as I can and get as many victories as I can.
MMANews.com: So you will roughly go on a fight every two months schedule?
Josh Koscheck: Yeah that’s the plan. That’s the only way to make money right?
MMANews.com: What do you work on in training leading up to a fight in particular?
Josh Koscheck: I pretty much work on everything. Grappling, jiu-jitsu, muay thai, and my cardio. In this game you have to be ready for everything. Whether you are fighting the best guy in the world or the worst guy in the world you have to be ready to fight everywhere and anywhere in the fight at anytime. I’m prepared to fight off my back, on top, or standing that’s for sure.
MMANews.com: Do you train full time at American Kickboxing Academy or do you branch out to other gyms or teams?
Josh Koscheck: I train full time at AKA and when I go home to Fresno – because San Jose isn’t my home, I live in Fresno, so I go to AKA for two week periods then come back to Fresno for two days – I will train with my muay thai coach there or my grappling coach and such. I also have a gym at my house so I’ll usually train cardio there as well.
MMANews.com: Who are some of the fighters that you train with on a regular basis?
Josh Koscheck: I’ve been training with Mike Swick, Jon Fitch, who just fought Akihiro Gono, Cain Velasquez, Christian Wellsch, Josh Thomson who is the Strikeforce Champion. Shoot man, there are a ton of younger guys in our gyms that are hungry and looking to get out there and get into these big events. We have a lot of guys here that are training hard on a regular basis.
MMANews.com: Was the new Strikeforce deal a big deal around the gym for any of the guys there?
Josh Koscheck: Yeah definitely. I’m happy for those guys because it gives them a chance to get out there and showcase their skills and make money and show that they have been training at AKA. So it’s definitely a good thing for a lot of guys. I believe that next to the UFC, Strikeforce is one of the legit organizations out there and Scott Coker is a great promoter so it will help a lot of the guys out there.
MMANews.com: Great, are there any sponsors or is there any message you want to send out to your fans?
Josh Koscheck: Yeah I’d like to thank Sprawl Fight Shorts and you can check out my clothing line at Marclothing.com. For my fans, just keep supporting the sport. Thanks for supporting not just me but all the fighters and get out there and enjoy the sport. This sport depends on the support from the fans and we appreciate everything you do for us.
MMANews.com: Final question Josh, how do you see the fight playing out at UFC 95?
Josh Koscheck: Oh I don’t know. I don’t really know what he brings to the table so I’ll have to just play it by ear. I’m sure we will touch gloves and then figure it out from there. It’s going to start on the feet and then you never know where its going to go from there.
MMANews.com: Thanks again Josh and good luck
Josh Koscheck: No problem, thank you.