Josh Koscheck (left) has "lost a lot of respect" for AKA founder and lead trainer Javier Mendez.
Well that certainly doesn't leave a lot of room for interpretation.
Former UFC welterweight number one contender, Josh Koscheck, who overcame the venerable Mike Pierce with a split decision win last Saturday night (Feb. 4, 2012) at the UFC 143: "Diaz vs. Condit" pay-per-view (PPV) event in Las Vegas, Nevada, is leaving the place he's called home for many years.
American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) in San Jose, California.
In a place that has produced so many spectacular mixed martial artists, including Jon Fitch, Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier and more, it would have to take something pretty dramatic to have one of its most visible (and one of its most successful) members abandon ship and swim to someone else's shore.
Koscheck explains to MMA Weekly why founder and lead trainer of AKA, Javier Mendez, was the driving force behind his departure, after the jump.
"There’s one reason I’m leaving San Jose AKA and that’s because of Javier Mendez. He’s the only reason I’m leaving that gym ... I went online and I read this interview and I started to notice after all my teammates lost, it was the same thing. They didn’t listen to the game plan, that he deferred it away from himself, and he threw us under the bus basically saying that we didn’t listen to him and he tries to make himself look good, so it doesn’t reflect on him us losing. I’ve lost a lost of respect for Javier Mendez as a coach, as a person, because if you go back and listen to the history of the interviews of him after AKA guys have lost, the interviews he does, go back and look at the Cain Velasquez (fight), go back and look at the Josh Koscheck (fight), the other guys on that team, and see if you can find interviews where he refers to ‘Oh I did my job’ to make himself look good and they didn’t do theirs. That’s not a coach."
"Cain knows he blew it, that he stopped before the guy (Junior), but he's confident that he'll have the chance to fight for the championship again. Possibly in two or three fights from now. He first has to prove he deserves that chance, so he'll have to defeat his two next opponents, or at least one in a convincing way so that Zuffa says "ok, you deserve another shot". When Zuffa offer us that fight, we'll work on it. When we started training, the first thing I told him was not to trade punches with Junior. I told him not to stand before him because the guy's a great boxer, the best in activity. Once you do that, you're screwed. I did my job. The fight presented itself, Cain stood in front of him for a seconds and Junior landed a powerful right hand. Junior came prepared, Cain was prepared, but the win went to the one who imposed first his game, and that was Junior."
Smoking gun? Or just an emotional coach following a heartbreaking loss? It should also be noted that Dave Camarillo, longtime grappling instructor at AKA, also left the San Jose fight club in recent months.
Anyone think "Kos" made the best decision for his career? Or will the departure from AKA have a significant impact on his in-cage success?
What's your take, Maniacs?