— Josh Koscheck is more than ready for his main card match-up against undefeated Diego Sanchez this Saturday, April 7th at UFC 69: SHOOTOUT. Josh, who is currently fighting at welterweight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, made his debut with the organization on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, where he lost by decision to Diego Sanchez in 2005. Josh took some time to talk to BuddyTV about his upcoming fight against Diego, which will go down tomorrow at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
Check out the full interview transcript below and listen to the MP3 audio after the jump.
BuddyTV: Josh, How do you feel coming into this fight against Diego Sanchez, are you healthy?
Josh: Very healthy. Right now I'm getting massages a couple times a week to keep my, uh, you know, everything healthy and everything functioning right. I'm just excited to get the training over with because that's the hardest part. The fight's usually the easy part. I'm just excited to get the training over, tomorrow's my hard last day of sparing, which will be Friday before the fight and Saturday I will do my hard, hard cardio and pretty much do some light technique on the pads and then I'm done for a couple of days and then I roll to Texas.
How do you plan on engaging Sanchez?
You know I'm planning on taking the fight to him you know, that's where his strong point is and I pretty much just want to control the pace of the fight and you know, fight the fight wherever it has to be fought.
What weaknesses do you feel Sanchez possesses?
I think his stand-up is his weakness and his wrestling obviously is not up to par, to where mine is, but I think that, that's definitely his weakest area of his game right now, his stand-up.
You kind of touched on this in the previous answer but maybe you can expand on this; how have you prepared yourself for this fight? Do you watch videos or entrust yourself in your coaches?
No, I don't do anything different. You know, every fight for me is the same, it doesn't matter who we're fighting, I train the same all year round. I'm pretty much just focused on every area because in Mixed Martial Arts you have to be well schooled in strikes, in kicking, and submissions. So I work on all those areas and I'm not changing anything up just because of a fight with Diego Sanchez, and I'm preparing for him just like I would for anyone else.
Where do you place yourself in the welterweight division?
I like to place myself at the top, you know, I think that obviously the UFC has a…I guess you could say that I'm up there because they're not gonna just throw anyone out there for Diego Sanchez to fight. So I would have to say that I'm up in the top. Once I beat Diego April 7th, then I'm definitely gonna be at the top and hopefully one day I'm gonna get a title shot.
Who are some of the guys you would like to face in the welterweight division?
Right now I'm trying not to look past Diego Sanchez, but obviously there are the best guys in the weight class. That's who I want to fight. I don't want to fight the bums that are in the weight class, I want to fight the best guys. I'm not looking past Diego right now, my focus is one more week of good hard being faith, being training and then I'll just look to fight April 7th and then we'll decide what I got to do next and where I got to go in the weight class.
Can you comment a little bit on your bout against Jeff Joslin? What have you come away with from that fight?
I think the Jeff Joslin fight; I don't think I was prepared like I should have been for that fight. I think that mentally, you know, after I warmed up I just didn't have the pop that I needed and I don't think my training went as well as it should have. So this time around it's different, everything seemed to work out pretty well, and I've learned that I need to adjust, that I can adjust my game at anytime and go back to my wrestling and that's what I had to do for that fight. When I went out there, I trained for a stand-up fight because my teammate fought him and I was planning on standing, and then I got out there and felt flat. It was just a different atmosphere, it was cold in there and so I just went back to my wrestling, what I do best.
At the end of that second round against Jeff Joslin he was starting to apply a triangle choke on you and it looked like you were saved by the bell at the end of the second. Did you feel in control or did you feel like Jeff joslin almost had you? Have you been training a little more on submission defense?
You know I'm very well trained in submission, I have a great coach Dave Camarillo; I just got my purple belt under him. There's no way he was going to choke me out, I would have lifted him up and powered out of it. I wasn't even in any danger whatsoever. I would have usually, even in practice very, very rarely do I get caught in submissions, just because my wrestling is so strong I can always power out of things. So I was in no danger at that point.
Josh, how have things changed for you since The Ultimate Fighter show, both in terms of fighting and life outside the cage?
You know, obviously if you put anyone on TV their life is gonna change. My life has definitely changed. I used to be a wrestling coach and I focused on training other athletes, basically student athletes. I wasn't very happy doing that because I had always been focused on training myself prior to that. So it gave me an opportunity to train full time. Being in the UFC, which is the best organization in the world right now, I can't ask for more, life is good. I get to fight in front of millions of people on TV. Not very many people can say that, that they've done that. So its something that I'm proud of, I'm proud to be a part of the UFC, I'm proud to be fighting for them.
Thanks Josh. We gave your fans an opportunity to submit some questions for you, so we wanted to throw a couple out there for you.
Randy Fan asks: "What has your training most consisted of in preparation for this fight against Sanchez? Whom have you brought in to train you on this fight?"
You know my training always stays the same for every fight because it is a Mixed Martial Art fight. There is wrestling involved, there is kicking and there is striking, so I focus on every area, you know, on certain points I may focus on more areas such as stand-up, such as wrestling, such as Jiu-Jitsu. I have the same group of people around me that I've had for the past 2 years, I haven't changed anything, obviously there's a lot of new people coming to our gym over the years to train but I've been with the same people, the same coaches and its been working for me and I want to stick with those guys. I feel comfortable with them and I have such great training partners, Mike Swick is one of my training partners, Jon Fitch who just fought UFC previously in Ohio. So I have great training partners so I don't really need anybody, I have a striker in Mike Swift and I have another wrestler in Jon Fitch, and I have endless amounts of other guys in our training camp.
Can you name of some of your coaches and your training partners?
Javier Mendez, world champion kick boxer. Dave Camarillo, black belt Jiu-Jitsu, one of the best pound for pound Jiu-Jitsu fighters in the world, he's amazing…you can look his website up, he has a great background, he's a black belt in Judo also so that gives both dimensions. I have crazy Bob Cook who's another one of my coaches, he's amazing. Bob Cook fought in the UFC, he's like 6-0 undefeated UFC fighter… When you have that amount of good people around you, you have nothing but success. You can't fail, you're gonna be successful because of the people around you and I have a great nucleus of people around me and that's why I think I've been so successful this past year.
Grendel2 asks: "What have you taken away from the Drew Fickett fight? Do you want a rematch?"
Definitely would love to have a rematch. What I learned from the Fickett fight was not to cruise, I need to finish fights, and become a more well-rounded fighter and that's what I've been working on this past year. I would love to give Drew Fickett a beating, I was whooping his ass the whole fight pretty much and then got caught with the knee and then choked out but that's UFC, that's Mixed Martial Arts at its best. You never know what's going to happen, you could be getting your butt kicked the whole time and then lose. That's part of the sport and that's part of life, you have your ups and downs. I've lost before that in wrestling and had to deal with that, I've lost in fighting, and I'm sure I'll probably lose again someday. There's just too many variables out there, I don't want to lose. I train my butt of not to lose, but there's those variables out there and sometimes it happens. You just got to keep getting back into the gym and do what you can to improve.
After the Drew Fickett fight, what changed in the Jonathan Goulet fight that you finished him off so quickly?
I would probably just have to say that the Goulet fight I trained very good for, I was ready to fight. I had a reason to beat him up, one of the UFC people, I won't mention any names, said that I was a boring fighter and that he didn't want to put me on TV. So I said, we'll see how boring I am. That motivated me very hard to whip Jonathan Goulet's ass, that's what happens when I get pissed off. Let's just hope I get pissed of April 7th and I can do the same thing to Diego.
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen and Bardia Mehrabian)
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Original article at http://www.buddytv.com/articles/ufc/exclusive_interview_ufc_fighte-5624.aspx