Josh Koscheck (17-8) has been in the hurt business since the earliest days of the UFC. The TUF 1 winner was interviewed ahead of his UFC 184 matchup with fellow veteran Jake Ellenberger and made a case for UFC pensions for long-serving fighters that have reached the end of their careers. Beginning at the 1:30 mark, Koscheck states his position with the transcription provided by bloodyelbow.com.
“As a fighter, there is no retirement. The UFC isn’t gonna say: You know what, we like you, we’re gonna give you a job. They only do that for the special guys, like the Forrest Griffins, the Matt Hughes’ and the Chuck Liddells. There’s no retirement for Josh Koscheck, so I gotta make that myself. […] They say we’re independent contractors which, you know… with the regulations and the things that we have restraining us, we’re employees. There should be a pension for all of us fighters. I think that we make this sport go around and without the fighters there is no UFC. It’s important for everybody to work together. We put our heart, sweat and tears into this thing and I would love to see it happen for us fighters, but unfortunately we’re not there, yet. Hopefully someday it will get there, but right now we’re not. That’s why I advise all these fighters to do things outside the Octagon with their money instead of buying toys and doing those things. Listen, I’ve done it, I’ve bought toys, I’ve been there. But then I was like: Whoa, wait – I got this car in my garage and it’s worth how much? And it’s not making me any money. Can I take that thing and sell it to put it into something that’s gonna make me money for the rest of my life?”
When asked about the potential of a fighters’ union, pensions and other benefits, Josh Koscheck stated,
“Well, I think there should be. At some point the UFC is gonna grow as big as it is and even bigger than it is now, hopefully. There’s gonna be a time where that discussion is gonna come up. I would like to see it happen, because I think it’s right for the fighters. […] For me, I think it would be beneficial for everybody involved, from the UFC all the way down to the fighters who are just still training and trying to get into this sport.”
“I think that somebody definitely has to step up or there’s gonna be an organization that comes in and adopts it. UFC is compared to football and basketball and all these other professional sports. And it’s an organization that they’re compared to financially, it’s an organization that they’re compared to with rules and regulations what the fighters can and can’t do, so yeah, I think it should be at some point, some day. That needs to happen. Are we ready for it right now? Who knows. That’s gonna be up to the fighters to decide and hopefully at some point all the fighters will come together and meet on that and determine we wanna have an organization that sets the rules for us. […] I think it would be good for the sport. It would make the sport grow, I believe.”
At Scifighting, we have opened the discussion to the possibilities of a fighter’s union before and many have echoed Josh Koscheck’s points concerning both the necessity and the challenge of the prospect. Who do you think will eventually spearhead a fighter’s union movement? Do you think it will be successful?