That's one of many bold statements currently emanating from the "Kos" camp ...
Along the way, one of the original "Ultimate Fighters" finally earned his long awaited title shot against reigning division champion, Georges St. Pierre, at UFC 124 almost 1.5 years ago. "Rush" dominated the fight from the opening bell, displaying his improved striking skills after training under famed boxing coach Freddie Roach. St. Pierre peppered Koscheck repeatedly with a very precise and accurate jab that found its target all night.
That target was Koscheck's right eye.
By the end of the 25-minute fight, it was swollen shut and St. Pierre had defended his title successfully for the fifth straight time. The injury to his right eye kept the former NCAA-Division 1 wrestler out of action for nine months.
Upon his return, Koscheck reeled of two straight wins against Matt Hughes and Mike Pierce and is now looking to make it three in a row as he takes on Johny Hendricks this weekend (May 5, 2012) at UFC on Fox 3 from East Rutherford, NJ.
Speaking to ESPN, the welterweight bad boy says that despite going into his 21st fight under the UFC umbrella this Saturday, he is still learning new tricks to ensure that should he face someone with a good jab in their arsenal, he will be ready to defend and counter it.
Check it out.
"I had no clue (how to defend the jab) because I didn't have anybody to show me the proper techniques. Now I have a guy who breaks it down real simple. I've gained two years' worth of knowledge in a few months. I've been fighting in UFC for eight years, and I don't think I knew how to throw a jab correctly until a few months ago. That's the difference. It's the techniques I'm learning, learning how to throw a proper punch. My speed has improved; I'm faster. I've only been working with Tom Semore a few months and I've made great improvement."
His new boxing coach, Tom Semore, who is responsible for instilling the skill set and confidence in Koscheck to hang on the feet with the best of them, also chimed in on what he has done to improve the boxing of his pupil:
"What I've tried to do is give him more tools to use and then he has to be the one to choose it. People like to talk about his big right hand. Well, right now Josh has power in all of his punches. He's gotten a lot better in every way. His uppercut is great. His left hook is better; everything he does now is much better. Josh has some of the best foot movement in MMA. Josh is great when he moves. I have to just keep him moving. I'm in the process of refining all of his moves. Right now I couldn't be more pleased with his progress."
Semore also touched on Hendricks' striking habits and how it will come into play this weekend and also takes the opportunity to assure everyone that should "Kos" and "Rush" ever meet inside the Octagon once more, Koscheck will not fall victim to the constant peppering jabs of St. Pierre.
"Hendricks' punches are sloppy and unorthodox, and I'm not saying that just because of my friendship with Josh. Johny has a lot of weaknesses; he'll have difficulty with Josh. And if I'd been with Josh, I don't think St. Pierre would have beaten him. I guarantee that when Josh fights him again that jab will be neutralized. Trust me, it will be neutralized. He will never out-strike Josh again. I see all of St. Pierre's weaknesses."
Before Josh can look forward to another meeting with "Rush," he will have to get past a very tough "Bigg Rigg," who has been making some loud noise himself in the UFC's 170-pound division.
The two will co-headline the UFC's third foray into national television at UFC on Fox 3, the winner climbs the welterweight ladder, the losers gets sent to the very back of the line. Koscheck and his boxing coach are very confident it will be the former American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) trained-fighter that will have his hand raised when the dust settles in "The Garden State."
Who do you think it will be, Koscheck or Hendricks? More on their upcoming fight right here.