Ariel Helwani caught up with welterweight contender Josh Koscheck recently to discuss his upcoming fight with Johny Hendricks. Somewhere along the way, they conversation turned to AKA, Koscheck’s former gym, AKA. Helwani asked about the split, specifically his public beef with coach Javier Mendez.
“For the record, he was never my coach, Koscheck corrected. “He tagged along here and there.” When asked if Mendez ever worked with him Josh admitted, “of course he worked with me. But did I learn anything? Eh.”
He is now training at Dethrone in Fresno, California, and seems to be happy so far, while at the same time taking shots at AKA. “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 that they can possibly be. And I have that now.”
Koscheck attempts to direct his anger toward the coaching, even claiming that the success of the fighters can be attributed to the high quality of training partners at the gym, not the coaches.
“If they had real coaching, you would have seen a lot more champions,” he claims. “If they (the fighters at AKA) are smart, they come (to Dethrone) and get real coaching.” Most of his jabs are directed at the coaching staff, but he’s messing in dangerous territory as most fighters grow very strong ties to their coaches and their entire gym. Many great fighters train at AKA, so Koscheck could be alienating them without actually trying.
For the most part, Koscheck has been known as a problem child in the MMA circles. He continually rubs people the wrong way with his abrasive and sometimes clueless personality. As was witnessed by everyone on The Ultimate Fighter season he coached opposite GSP, people skills aren’t necessarily his thing. He came across as unprofessional and kind of a dick.
My point is, although Koscheck may remain friendly with some of his old training partners at AKA, I would have a very hard time believing his move to a new gym didn’t come as a huge relief to many others inside the gym. We’ll see if his new gym in Fresno can help both Koscheck’s skills inside the cage and maybe even his skills as a likeable guy.