UFC welterweight contender Josh Koscheck (15-4) has rubbed many fans the wrong way since he arrived on the MMA scene after appearing on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. His famous feuds with fellow UFC vets Paul Daley and Diego Sanchez are behind him. Now he’s in a war of words with UFC president Dana White.
After Koscheck defeated brash British striker Paul Daley at UFC 113 last month, White told Yahoo! Sports, “I’m no Josh Koscheck fan. Personally, I think he’s [expletive]. We actually don’t get along very well.”
White did not elaborate on his distaste for Koscheck but it may have to do with his refusal to fight fellow welterweight Jon Fitch. Fitch and Koscheck are teammates at the esteemed American Kickboxing Academy and both have publicly refused to fight each other unless it was for a title and a ton of money. Many regard Fitch and Koscheck as the top two contenders behind St. Pierre and a fight between them would make sense. In fairness to Koscheck, several fighters including St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida have publicly declared they would not fight a fellow team member. White has often insisted that fighting is not a team sport.
“Dana White doesn’t like me, apparently. That’s what he says. I’m not a team player. I don’t understand how he can say that. To go on record and say that, I think that’s a bunch of (expletive),” Koscheck said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I’m the type of fighter that steps up and fights anybody, anytime, anyplace. I’ve taken short-notice fights for him. I always do whatever I’m asked.”
Koscheck earned the opportunity to coach against St. Pierre in the 12th season of TUF and then challenge GSP for the welterweight crown in a rematch of their 2007 fight where Koscheck lost a unanimous decision.
Koscheck continued, “I’m going to prove I’m a team player by winning the show and the welterweight title.”
Throughout his career, Koscheck has often taunted booing crowds and appears to relish the role of playing the bad guy. After his last fight with Daley, he told a Montreal crowd that he would beat their hometown hero Georges St. Pierre.
“I always use this analogy because I respect Dennis Rodman and what he did. He was one of the best rebounders in the NBA, but he didn’t really get noticed until he started acting like a crazy man,” Koscheck said. “At the end of the day, I’ve got to do things for myself and my business to make money so I don’t have to work. It’s not like we’re getting paid $50 million or $60 million a fight like (Floyd) Mayweather.”
UFC fans will get to see a whole lot of Koscheck when the next season of TUF airs. Koscheck will have the opportunity to try to turn his many detractors into fans or cement his role as a villain in the UFC.