There has been a ton of “negative” comments that have transpired that Josh Koscheck (17-10) has recently said about his former employer the UFC. However if you read on in his interview he actually talks very kindly of his former promotion. He did start off somewhat burying them:
“Finally, I get to take off my handcuffs and I don’t have to be tied to the UFC rules, restrictions and underground rules,” Koscheck told MMAjunkie. “Like, ‘Oh, we’ll take care of you if you do what we say.’ Yeah, I went along with the game just like all these fighters are now. I got some good bonuses, absolutely, but some fights I thought I deserved a bigger bonus, or a better bonus for stepping up on short notice. Sometimes those bonuses were sh-t. I can finally just say what I want and not have any repercussions because they don’t own me anymore. It’s kind of nice to have that feeling and that weight lifted off my shoulders.”
Koscheck then talks about the new Reebok deal with the UFC and admits that it played a minor role in his departure from the company.
“Reebok deal had a big part to do with it; this Reebok deal is not good for the fighters and the media knows it, the fans know it, and the fighters know it,” Koscheck said. “The only thing this Reebok deal is good for, in my opinion, is the UFC. I don’t even know if it’s going to be good for them. I saw them posting stuff today regarding the Reebok deal and showing some of the designs. I left at the right time, that’s for sure, because those designs are hideous. That Reebok deal, in my opinion, is bad.I don’t think it supports the fighters and the fighters need to stand up and say, ‘Sorry, we’re out. We’re going to fight our contracts out and get the hell out of this.’ Or at least be able to negotiate. My suggestion for all fighters, all these UFC fighters out there and all fighters in general – fight your fights out, fight your contracts out, because you’re never going to know your market value until you fight your fights out and become a free agent.”
Koscheck then praises his current employer and new boss Scott Coker:
“I couldn’t be more excited to get the opportunity to have a boss like Scott Coker,” Koscheck said. “The guy is a guy that you can work with, pick up the phone and call and have a good conversation with, a guy that isn’t going to cuss you out, a guy that’s going to treat you with respect. Scott Coker, I’ve always had a great relationship with him. Finally I get an awesome boss that’s going to be a fun time to work for. The major factor is, Scott Coker and I have become friends over the years. I started my career on Spike TV, and what a better way to end it. I’m going to end fighting on Spike TV with Josh Koscheck and having a cool boss like Scott Coker. I haven’t been this excited for a long time about mixed martial arts. Twenty-seven fights, 12 years, is a long time of fighting and training. I haven’t been excited for the past three or four years about fighting. I got that hunger back and I’m pretty excited about it.”
Josh takes a shot at the agreement between Fox Sports and the UFC and how the time constraints don’t allow fighters enough time to be promoted.
“With their contract they have with FOX TV, it’s a circus; they don’t promote fights anymore –there’s not enough time,” Koscheck said. “They have four or five fights a month, so there’s not enough time to promote fighters. They’re just time slots. They’re only filling time slots. Now this opportunity with Bellator you’re going to know when guys are fighting because they’ll have time to build the fight cards and get fans excited. It’s not just a corporate scale of putting fights on week after week. Get the corporate sh-t out of here and go back to the grass roots of MMA when it was cool. Back in the days of big, big fights. That’s what Scott Coker is going to do. He’s going to put on big fights and this is only the beginning of what he’s going to do with mixed martial arts.”
Finally towards the end of the interview Koscheck praises the UFC and is ready to start anew on his career.
“I’ve had my fair share of good days in the UFC, and I’ve had my fair share of bad days in the UFC; that’s just part of it,” Koscheck said. “I appreciate the UFC and what they did for me. It was time for me to move on. It was time for me to grow as a fighter, grow more into business and by no means am I going to talk sh-t about them. They were good at times, they were bad at times. There were times where I had to bite my tongue and just eat it. At this point in my career I’m happy I get a new chance in life with Bellator, Spike TV and Scott Coker. Them taking a chance on Josh Koscheck is pretty cool at this age. I still believe I can go out there and compete with the best and win. It’s just like I said earlier, I’m 0-0 again and I’m excited for the first time in a long time about getting in there and fighting. I’m excited that my handcuffs are taken off and I’m free. I’m free from the past. It’s going to be a good future.”