Josh Koscheck signs with Bellator (1 Viewer)


Three months after the MMA world wondered if a fifth straight loss was going to lead to retirement for Josh Koscheck, it has its answer: Nope.

Instead, Koscheck (17-10 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) has left the UFC after 10 years and 25 fights with the promotion to sign with rival Bellator. Promotion officials announced the news during Friday’s Bellator 139.

Koscheck, a veteran of Season 1 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and a onetime UFC welterweight title challenger, went 15-10 in the UFC. But his five straight losses including four consecutive stoppage setbacks, including back-to-back submission losses to Jake Ellenberger and Erick Silva just three weeks apart.

The Silva loss was the last on Koscheck’s UFC contract, a source close to the fighter confirmed to MMAjunkie on Friday.

No first fight was announced for Koscheck with Bellator, but almost without question the promotion has its eye on a fight between him and Paul Daley. The two fought at UFC 113 in May 2010, and after a decision win for Koscheck, Daley sucker punched him after the bell. That led to Daley’s release from the UFC – a situation that caused UFC President Dana White to say he’d never be welcomed back.

After Koscheck’s loss to Silva in Brazil, White said he wasn’t going to push Koscheck toward retirement the way he had other fighters in the past, like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes.

“I do have a soft spot for the ‘TUF 1’ guys, and Josh and I will talk in a couple days, and we’ll go from there,” White said after UFC Fight Night 62, where Koscheck was submitted in the first round

For Koscheck’s part, the loss to Silva left him disappointed, but not thinking about hanging up his gloves.

“I’m not happy with where I’m at. I’m 37, and finishing the last fights on my contract haven’t been the greatest.”

Koscheck was one of only three “TUF 1″ cast members still on the UFC’s active roster, along with the season’s middleweight winner, Diego Sanchez, whom he outpointed at UFC 69, and Mike Swick.

For more on Bellator’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.
for the people who didn't see it in the bellator thread


fuck you!
I have always pretty much been a Kos fan since watching him win the NCAAs. I was always way more into that than MMA until I got out of school. This is a great move for him. He is way too much of a name to be in with the guys at like 20 rank of UFC and would be way more beneficial beating some younger guys and possibly losing to some guys working themselves up.


Well-Known Member
Site Donor
I didn't know he was gone. The only positive memory I have of Koscheck is when he handed Diego his first loss. The rest of the time, I always felt he was one of the biggest douchebags in MMA.


Hopefully he gets a few cupcakes and gets back in the win column before they go and give him top comp.


I was not a real fan of Kos but He really won my respect after the GSP fight. 5 rounds with a broken orbital socket. Ouch


ex nihilo
Fraggle fighting Daley is the only fight I would be remotely interested in. I probably wouldn't go out of my way to see it live.


Voice of the people
I've known Josh since he was a 103 lb high school wrestler. He needs to hang up it up. Nothing left to prove.


Putting the stamp on kids
Staff member
Kos vs Paul Daley is actually a fight I would look forward to watching happen again.
[DOUBLEPOST=1435708550,1435708509][/DOUBLEPOST]Josh Koscheck: Signing with Bellator means 'I get to take off my handcuffs'
“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.”

After 25 UFC fights spanning from his April 2005 debut to his departure, Koscheck completed his UFC contract in March following a first-round submission loss to Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night 62. The defeat marked Koscheck’s fifth loss in a row, which for most fighters would fade the UFC’s interest in a contract renewal.

Koscheck said he was offered a new deal by the organization. However, he said the terms did not stack up with what Bellator presented soon after. In fact, Koscheck joked he would have made more money working as a bartender than re-signing with the UFC.

“I spoke with them briefly, for like two seconds on the phone; they offered something and I said, ‘No thanks,'” Koscheck said. “I could make more money being a bartender somewhere basically. At the end of the day it’s a business. Bellator and (President) Scott Coker put an offer together that I couldn’t resist, and we sent it over to the UFC to match and they couldn’t match it, so here I am – signed with Bellator, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

The 37-year-old said there were multiple layers behind his decision aside from fight purse. The UFC’s fighter apparel and sponsorship partnership with Reebok, which was largely unveiled at a media event today in New York City, influenced Koscheck to go with Bellator, he said. He feels the deal is unfair to fighters and prevents them from learning their true value in the sport.

Koscheck said he got a firm grasp on his worth as an athlete during his free agency period. He encouraged other fighters to do the same nearing the end of their contracts to do the same.

“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.”

Another aspect of Koscheck’s decision, he said, was the opportunity to work closely with Coker. Coker has been at the helm of Bellator for a little more than a year, and during that time he’s made significant changes to the organization’s image and promotional tactics.

Koscheck had notable run-ins with UFC President Dana White over the course of his career. He said he better relates to Coker’s image for the future and holds tremendous faith in the potential of the Viacom-owned company.

“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.”

One of the key aspects to the way in which Coker and Bellator promote fights is to focus on major events. Koscheck said UFC is unable to properly promote events because of the amount of shows it runs every year. Koscheck feels it’s the responsibility of the promoter to make the public aware of fights and said the UFC’s broadcast partnership with FOX prevents it from doing that.

“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.”

Koscheck made it clear when discussing his decision to sign with Bellator that’s he’s not bitter toward the UFC. However, he has strong feelings about certain subjects he felt could only be broached after he signed elsewhere.

Koscheck said he doesn’t know when his Bellator debut will take place, but he’s “excited” for the fresh start to his career. Despite not earning a victory since February 2012, Koscheck said he looks at the situation as a new chapter, and while he appreciates what the UFC did for him, he now feels “free.”

“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.”


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I always LOVE it when fighters reap the rewards in the UFC and then come out and shit on the UFC. Man the fuck up.


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After five consecutive losses in a row—though I had Pierce beating him too—Koscheck has now found the motivation and the time to grow as a fighter? You have to be joking. He's been finished four straight. Georges took his soul.

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