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Interview: Josh Koscheck, TUF 12 Coach and Welterweight Contender

You could say that Josh Koscheck is the more talkative coach on this season of The Ultimate Fighter. He would say he’s the villain. A veteran of the first season of the show, Koscheck lost to Georges St. Pierre in 2007 at UFC 74. Since that loss, Koscheck has compiled a 6-2 record, with three straight wins earning him another shot at GSP. Returning to The Ultimate Fighter, he planned on being getting in St. Pierre’s head and was glad to find out that it worked.

As you’ll see, it looks like I was the one to tell Koscheck that he had annoyed St. Pierre. That wasn’t the only surprise. Despite playing up the bad guy role, Koscheck is a nice guy who loves being with his family. While you see him out in LA on TMZ and hanging out with friends like Holly Madison – Turns out she’s just a good friend – he says he spends most of his time paddling up a river on surfboards and horseback riding with his four young nieces and nephews. Fans will also be glad to hear that he wants to make GSP strike with him. Oh, and if the money’s right, he would consider beating you up too.

How was the experience coaching?
The experience of being a coach on The Ultimate Fighter was a good experience, you know, it was definitely was a different experience than being a contestant on season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter. I got to obviously have a little more freedom as a coach to go out and do our own thing in Vegas. Focus on myself a little bit. The experience overall was a good experience. I definitely would do it again and I would definitely never want to be a competitor on the show again, but I would definitely be a coach again, that’s for sure.

So it was definitely, definitely a different experience coaching. (This exchange actually took place. Completely unintentional.)
Yeah, it was definitely, definitely I would say an easier experience. Being in the house you know for the two months, you don’t have TV. You don’t have cell phones or any communication with the outside world. Whereas being a coach you have that communication with the outside world. I can’t drop everything on the outside. I’ve got businesses and I’ve got partners that I need to be in contact with pretty much a couple times a day. It was definitely a good experience. I brought in a great coaching staff for these guys to have the ability to learn from the American Kickboxing Academy. They have the opportunity to pursue a dream and my job as a coach is to help them accomplish that dream.

Koscheck brought in guys from his own camp for his coaching staff. He mentioned Dave Camarillo, Jon Fitch, Javier Mendez, Bob Cook, Teddy Lucio and said there would be “special guests.” We’ll have to see if any of them get more airtime than Jake Shields did as an assistant on Team Liddell last season.

OK, so you mentioned that Jon Fitch was there, so if you beat St. Pierre…
Yeah, well, its not happenin’, so next question on that one.

Fair enough. So how was spending all that time with GSP? I talked to him the other day and he said that you got under his skin a little bit.
Oh, that’s good to know that I got under GSP’s skin a little bit. I really… I really truly like the fact that you just told me that. *Laughter* Now I know it worked. You know what’s funnier is that from day 1 on The Ultimate Fighter – my whole when I was on there and my whole life I’ve had the ability to get underneath people’s skin. You know, so, now I know that it still works at 32. *Laughter*

You know, I think that I definitely know its part of entertainment. Its part of keeping people interested in the show. If you had Georges St. Pierre coaching against Georges St. Pierre the ratings would plummet to about three people.  ‘Cuz I believe that he’s that boring. So you need a guy like me on there. I’m always going to do my part when it comes to getting people to tune in. They love me or hate me, I’m always going to do my part. That’s part of being in entertainment. Look at Floyd Mayweather. Why do you watch Floyd Mayweather? One, because he’s the best and two because he brings entertainment value. He’s an entertainer and that’s why you tune in and all the boxing fans tune in when he fights. He’s a great fighter and people love to hate him. I take that similar approach to things. I want to be hated. That means I’m successful. That means I’m doing the right things, that I’m good at what I do.

What’s changed since the first time you fought Georges? How is this going to be different?
I think what changes from 2007 when we fought is the fact that I’m older. I’m a more mature fighter and I have had some time to reflect on what I did wrong the first fight against Georges St. Pierre and won’t make the same mistake twice.

I’m a quick study when it comes to learning life lessons. Learning lessons regarding making mistakes in life and I don’t plan on making the same mistakes again and one of the things throughout my wrestling career is that I’ve usually never lost to the same guy twice. I’ve really never lost to the same guy twice and I plan on making that the same case when it comes to December 11th in Montreal versus Georges St. Pierre.

How do you feel about him getting home field advantage in Montreal?
Well, that just proves that Georges kisses Dana White’s ass and probably cries like a little baby. Says ‘oh, I don’t want to fight in Vegas. I want to fight in Montreal.’ But you know it doesn’t bother me where we fight. I still have to show up there and win. I’ve always been like this my whole career. I’ve always been the type of the person that the day of the fight I may be sick. The day of the fight I may be injured. Guess what? I still need to show up there and win a 25 minute fight. That’s what I plan on doing. I plan on not only on shocking the world, but I plan on pissing off 22,000 people in Montreal when I knock Georges St. Pierre out.

If you beat St. Pierre, how would you feel about having your first title defense in Pennsylvania?
Well, uh, I’m not saying… I don’t agree with you what you said there. ‘If’ I beat Georges St. Pierre. When I beat Georges St. Pierre, they should have my first title defense in Pennsylvania, I’d be down for that. That’d be awesome. I think that’d be the first time in my career where I have – well, maybe the second time because in Chicago they treated me very well when I came here to fight – But the second time in my whole career where I’d have a whole stadium cheering for me instead of booing. That’d be kind of cool.

How often do you like to fight? Do you prefer a longer layoff?
I like to make money so that means I like to fight. You know, I’d fight every week if they let me. Realistically, this long layoff actually would be good for me because I have a lot of fights on a short amount of time and I was pretty busy there for a while. My body got kind of beat up. My mind kind of got a little distracted and this layoff’s been great for me. I’ve been able to refocus my mind and my body and get things back to where they need to be. I’m still training hard, you know, doing a lot of sparring still. A lot of the same things. You know I’m adding – I’m bringing a lot of new people in for the training camp. Its going to be a heck of a training camp and I can’t wait to go to Montreal and you  know, touchin’ up on my French. I’ve got a really good entrance already planned out for Montreal and I’ve already got my after speech prepared.

When you were on The Ultimate Fighter it was as a middleweight. Everyone talks about GSP fighting Anderson Silva. If – I’m sorry – when you win, would you be open to a fight against Silva?
Oh, absolutely. I’ll fight anybody if the money’s right. You know, personally, I want to fight Tito Ortiz. I think he’s a bigmouth and I’d like to beat his ass and he won’t step up. He won’t even reply to what I’ve got to say. You know, I’ll fight all the way up to 205. I’ll fight heavyweights if its the right opponent and the money’s right. You know, I don’t have a problem stepping up in weight class.

What’s going to happen on December 11th?
Well, what’s going to happen when I fight Georges is that I’m going to force him to keep this fight on the feet and see if Georges can take my power. We’ll see, but I plan on keeping this fight on the feet and knocking him out. And pissing off twenty-two thousand Montreal Canadians.

Koscheck is 15-4 and 13-4 in the UFC. Throughout The Ultimate Fighter, he will be tweeting and answering fan questions during episodes – @JoshKoscheck. The first episode is tonight at 10pm Eastern on SpikeTV following Ultimate Fight Night. There will be a short preview for that later.

 

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