Being a warrior inside the Octagon has taken some fighters to great heights. When the history of the sport is written, many will discuss and admire the heroism shown by legends like Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock—who arguably fought well past his prime.
Sometimes, however, the warrior spirit has cost fighters during their quest for titles. Josh Koscheck was the latest victim of the warrior spirit. After Diego Sanchez was forced off the UFC 90 card with an injury, Koscheck stepped up on less than a month’s notice to fight Thiago Alves.
The match proved an exciting one for fans, but not so good for Koscheck’s career. Alves went on to earn a unanimous victory via a one sided drubbing that saw all but one of the judges give every round to Alves on the score card.
Despite the brief setback, Koscheck has no regrets about taking the fight.
“I’d take the fight again if it was offered to me tomorrow,” Koscheck said, who dropped to 13-3 after the defeat. “I just think that it was a good opportunity. I thought I had a very good chance of winning that fight. I fought a tough opponent in Thiago and he’s probably the number one contender in the weight class.”
Koscheck’s assertion about Alves’ status in the division is likely correct. With fellow American Kickboxing Academy teammate out of title contention after a loss to current welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, Koscheck would’ve likely been next in line for a rematch had he pulled out the victory.
“You only get opportunities in this life once in a while and that was an opportunity for me to fight for [a shot at] the title.”
With the loss at UFC 90 still fresh on the minds of a lot of fans, Koscheck won’t have to wait three or four months for Octagon redemption. Prior to taking the fight with Alves, Koscheck was slated to headline UFC’s Fight For the Troops. Unfortunately for his co-headlining opponent, Yoshiyuki Yoshida, Koscheck is looking to use this fight to get back to his old, winning ways.
“I think Yoshida’s a tough opponent,” he says. “He’s not very well known amongst MMA fans in America, but he’s a tough opponent. Come December 10, he’s going to come to fight and show why he’s the main event. He brings a lot of good things to the game. His judo, striking and submissions are good.”
Before he rose to headlining status, Koscheck cut his teeth in the UFC as a member of the first cast of The Ultimate Fighter. At the time, he and his fellow cast mates had no idea the show—which just wrapped its eighth season—would be such a success. “[The UFC] had no clue that this thing would even be picked up. We were all test dummies more or less for season one.”
Die hard fans of the sport were slow to warm to the reality television stars at first, but Koscheck points to the careers of several season one alums as evidence that the presence of TV cameras does not lessen the quality of fighters. “One of the things about TUF was that a lot of the MMA fans didn’t [initially] like the show. They would boo us, but look at us now. Most of the TUF 1 guys are headlining shows, one is the UFC light heavyweight champion. You have Diego [Sanchez], you have [Kenny] Florian who will be fighting for the title and fought for the title before.”
While there was some tension on the show’s first season, Koscheck harbors no ill will, and wishes nothing but the best for his former housemates.
“I’m definitely rooting for everybody from season one when they fight.”