Changing face, Koscheck ready for UFC 86
Growing up is hard to do. It’s even harder when you’re growing up in front of millions of people on television. But that’s exactly what Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight Josh Koscheck did as a member of the cast for the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality show.
Coming onto the show, Koscheck only had a handful of fights and an impressive resume that included an NCAA championship in wrestling at Edinboro University in 2001. What he learned on the show was a first hand lesson in the world of MMA and how reality shows can soon become a reality after the filming is finished.
During the show’s filming, Koscheck became everyone’s favorite bad guy, taunting and prodding at housemate Chris Leben, until the two finally fought on the show. When he won the fight, Koscheck’s intensity only seemed to grow while his protagonists kept at him before and after the season ended.
Now entering his 13th professional fight, facing veteran Chris Lytle at UFC 86 on Saturday night, Koscheck understands that how the fans perceive him could make or break his career as a successful mixed martial artist.
“TV can give you a false sense of who a person is,” Koscheck stated. “So for me it’s all about turning fans around and really showing these fans who I really am as a person. That’s one of the big things I’m trying to do.”
Josh Barnett revisits old rival Pedro Rizzo
UFC, PRIDE and K-1 veteran Josh Barnett (22-5) is perhaps one of the least-known commodities in the upper echelon of the heavyweight division to American fans. But if Affliction Vice President Tom Atencio has his way, "The Babyface Assassin" will soon be a household name.
The first roadblock on that journey is the first man ever to beat Barnett, the heavy-handed Pedro Rizzo (16-7).
Already a legend in Japan, Barnett and Atencio discussed Barnett's upcoming bout with longtime-veteran Rizzo at "Affliction: Banned" today on a media conference call.
"One of my goals is to make Josh famous here (in America), as well," Atencio said. "I think that he deserves the recognition."
For his part, the one-time UFC heavyweight champion downplayed the importance of recognition in his homeland.
"I didn’t do this to become famous," Barnett said. "I did it because I wanted to be the baddest guy on the planet."
Barnett has long been considered among the most talented heavyweights in the world. At just 24, the Washington native defeated MMA legend Randy Couture to become the UFC's heavyweight champion in 2002. A highly controversial steroid scandal followed, and Barnett left the UFC to compete in Japan.
Quinton Jackson:Forrest ain't going to make it to the 5th
"That fight with me and Forrest ain't going to the judges. I'm going to be victorious and I'm going to win that fight in exciting manner; whether it's knockout, TKO, submission or getting him to tap out, something's going down. Something is going to happen. Forrest ain't going to make it to the 5th,"
Melvin Guillard prepares to give the UFC one more shot
“Right now it’s tough. You got guys like Spencer Fisher, Frankie Edgar, I can name so many. You even got Rich in there. It gets tougher and you just got to train harder, but right now I’m going to give it a shot and try to become UFC champion. But for future reference, if that doesn’t work and I don’t feel that I’m going to be a champion in the UFC then switch me over to the WEC because its about being a champion and I want to go somewhere where I can be a champion right now. I’m not going to be naive and a hypocrite but I don’t see myself beating BJ Penn right now, he’s a top guy. Anybody under him, yeah, I can go head to head with and I could give it a shot, but I’m not going to sit here and say that my skills are good enough to beat BJ Penn right now because his ground game is way off the charts. Guys like (WEC lightweight champion) Jamie Varner and (Rob) McCullough and guys like that — those guys are tailor made for me to fight. I’m gonna give it a shot and give it a run, but if I fall short again, I’ll be looking forward to moving somewhere else so I can become a champion.”
well at least he seems more humble and mature than he has in the past
The Punk talks about his huge win
Josh Thomson interview with Sherdog. He talks about the win, the pre interviews, who helped him out, rankings, and how he would dominate any other lightweight fighter in any organization.
After his great preformance I wouldn't be as quick as I was this fight to bet against him.
Sokoudjou: "He's the guy I go home and study"
"Hopefully, Mr. Joe Silva will give me the fight I want. I've fought twice in the UFC and both times, it was for the UFC and the guys they wanted me to fight. I hope this time they will give me the guy I want for a change and I will be happy," stated UFC light heavyweight Sokoudjou as he continues to stress his desire to face Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. Check out what else he had to say as he explains why a fight with Rua is important to him. Plus, Sokoudjou shares his thoughts on Anderson Silva and Brandon Vera fighting at light heavyweight and much more.
Exclusive Interview: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of MMA’s most charismatic stars, but the UFC light heavyweight champ has also become one of the world’s best fighters since moving from Pride to the UFC. In this exclusive interview, “Rampage” discusses his evolution as an athlete, his upcoming title fight against Forrest Griffin, and what he hates most about life as an MMA fighter.
Mark DellaGrotte Interview
The crowd roared its approval for Mike Campbell as he won at the World Championship Fighting 3 card Friday night in Wilmington, Mass. But while most of Campbell’s entourage celebrated after he finished Rich Moskowitz with strikes in the first round of the night’s main event, his head trainer was far from satisfied.
Retraction: Update On Kimbo Slice vs. Brett Rogers
Last week Fightline.com reported that Kimbo Slice vs. Brett Rogers was a done deal and that the fight was set for October. (Click here to view that report) While this is a likely possibility it remains just a possibility and is far from a done deal with nothing being signed and platforms, venues and other considerations still up in the air.
EliteXC VP and matchmaker Jared Shaw contacted Fightline.com to clarify his position and update our readership on the status of this fight after viewing how the story had been picked up and used on other websites.
"Slice-Rogers is far from a done deal. They have each other and this is definitely on the horizon but currently we don't know what our platform will be for the months of October and November and on. It's a fight that is likely to happen within a year."
Shaw also told Fightline.com that Rogers is currently in the mix and being discussed as Kimbo's next opponent but there are also two other intriguing names out there for Kimbo and a decision has yet to be made for his next fight.
Tim Sylvia: "It's time to see if Fedor still has what it takes to be #1"
Although Fedor is the top-ranking heavyweight in the world, there's no doubt that Tim Sylvia is a force to be reckoned with. With a full 8 inches and 30 pounds over Fedor, Sylvia is a monster with an impressive record, surprisingly quick hands and a long reach that many opponents find hard to escape. His size and striking power, coupled with a rock-em sock-em attitude and stamina are a dangerous combination every time he steps in front of an opponent. Trying to regain the championship title in a fight in 2004, Sylvia wouldn't tap out when Frank Mir
locked him in an armbar, even after his arm was snapped. The ref had to put an end the fight, because Sylvia, broken arm and all wouldn't give up.
Fedor, who has already proved himself in the ring, is looking to earn a different kind of reputation with the American people. "As far as American fans, I'd like them to get to know me personally…not just as a fighter - as a human being as well.' And Sylvia, who has suffered from some criticism and controversy, has a personal, as well as professional, agenda as well - he's just looking for a little respect. A win against the current world heavyweight champion just might quiet the chatter and earn him the respect he yearns for. In Sylvia's own words, "It's time to see if Fedor still has what it takes to be #1."
Coach says Wanderlei is adapting
MMAWeekly: How do you see Wanderlei’s last fight against Keith Jardine?
Rafael Alejarra: We know we were coming from negative results (against Chuck Liddell), but we are always in evolution, not only technically, but also the cardio-resistance. But some of our results don’t depend only on those factors. In Wanderlei’s last fight he was more adapted with the new changes, with the rules, training sessions, the environment and sparring.
MMAWeekly: We could see that Wanderlei was 100% for his last fight. We also know that differently from his first fight now he had good sparring training, different coaches. How about your area, did you do anything different?
Rafael Alejarra: Wanderlei truly came ready for this fight, and thanks to his training and great sparring. About my area, I’ve been using the HIPOXIA training style. It’s a very good training that is already used in Cuba with boxers and now I am adapting it to MMA. And I can tell that due to the time of training and adaptation, our results were better than in Wanderlei’s first fight.
MMAWeekly: Many fans were thinking that Wanderlei’s problem was his emotional side and due to that he wasn’t doing good in his fights. In his last fight, he shaved his head and fought exactly as the earlier times. What happened? What changed?
Rafael Alejarra: I wouldn't say emotional problems, but as I said before, we were facing adaptation problems here. We had some new things to worry about and we were very busy in our last months, but the truth is, we never let the training level go down. We know, and Wanderlei knows, his responsibility with his fans.
Ready or not: MMAmania.com exclusive interview with Josh Thomson
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): What’s up, Josh? Heard there was some drama at the weigh-ins today. Did you have any problems hitting 155?
Josh Thomson: You know, the weight came right off. We had problems at the weigh-in with the scale. I don’t know what the hell their deal was. I checked my weight on the same scale probably like twenty minutes before they actually moved it up onto the desk, and I was right on with my underwear on. Then when I got up onto the scale and weighed in, I was a pound over, so I had to drop my drawers and step on. It just didn’t seem good, but then I broke right there, so it was good. I mean, as long as I make the weight the first time, we weren’t going have to leave anywhere to go cut weight.
James Iannotti (MMAmania.com): You and Gilbert are pretty good friends. What’s it going to be like fighting somebody you actually like?
Josh Thomson: I think we’re kind of over it now, you know? Weigh-ins have been done. We talked about the friendship and stuff throughout the training camp, so I think now we’re ready to just get it on. We know what reality is now. I think after seeing each other at weigh-ins and stuff, and it’s here now, so it’s like, just rest and go and just get it done and get it over with, and then just move on with the next chapter of our life, you know?
Rodrigo Comprido Speaks On Brock Lesnar
GRACIEMAG.com: A lot of people think he doesn't know any ground fighting. What's your assessment of his Jiu-Jitsu level and how far do you intend to go with him?
Comprido: The guy's a world class wrestler, US champion. It's impossible that he doesn't know anything about fighting on the ground. He has a really good base, and he positions himself well. The guy is always open to learning new things, or in other words, he's the student every teacher wishes they had. Of course there are things to improve and I hope to help him with the Jiu-Jitsu part. Sooner or later he'll have to face Rodrigo Minotauro, who's the best MMA fighter I've ever seen fight. But he's focused on his next fight and is not thinking about that yet. I'm aware of the fact that he's way above average and that I can help him conquer the UFC belt or that of any other event he wishes to compete in.
GRACIEMAG.com: A lot is said, as well, about his absurd strength and optimal physical conditioning. Is he really that strong, well prepared and so good a wrestler?
Comprido: His strength really is extraordinary, he's by far the strongest guy I've ever coached. But he's so aware of that that during training he uses very little strength (which is more than enough). [laughs] Not just anybody becomes wrestling champion of the United States. I think few in MMA wouldn't get taken down by him in seconds.
Jake Shields Comments OnThompson Fight
All Top 10 ranked welterweight Jake Shields has wanted over the past couple of years was to find a stable home in an organization that allowed him to face off against other top 170-pound fighters and one day fight for a title.
Affliction Sets Plans For Two Future Shows
Since the announcement of the Affliction promotion a few months ago, everyone from fans to fighters to other promoters have been watching the new organization with great interest as to their business plan for the mixed martial arts industry.