When he’s not polishing off his unblemished 6-0 record, you’ll find World Series of Fighting’s Nick Lobosco on the wrestling mats of a Missouri high school.
The featherweight will take on Fabio Mello on Saturday’s WSOF 6 undercard, but it’s his passion for coaching and bringing home state medals that provide him motivation on a regular basis.
“Been doing that for a while,” Lobosco told MMAWeekly.com about his job as a high school wrestling coach. “I love doing that.”
More than a fighter, Lobosco is a mentor to young men. The coaching gig that he says he’s most passionate about came soon after he wrestled as a Missouri Baptist University Spartan.
As a coach, he teaches his wrestlers how to focus and drive towards winning state championships. MMA is part-time for Lobosco, but even so, the glimpse of their coach in the cage encourages his young wrestlers to perhaps pursue the same career.
Lobosco said he’s all for his guys working their way towards mixed martial arts.
“I encourage them all to try it out,” he said. “I encourage everyone to try out combat sports. I think it’s important. For one, it’s a great workout. For two, I think it’s a confidence builder and I think it’s good for all kids to just have that confidence of ‘I can handle myself a little bit.’ I never encourage anyone to get into a fight or anything like that, but I think it’s good for kids (to be) self-confident.”
When he enters the WSOF cage on Saturday, Oct. 26, Lobosco will do so in front of thousands of fans. For many fighters, the numerous spectators provide either a motivation to perform or the fear of failure. For Lobosco, however, the thousands watching won’t matter much. The opinions that matter more, he said, are the ones of the high school students he coaches, many of whom have watched Lobosco fight since his pro debut.
Being a mentor doesn’t stop once he steps off the high school wrestling mats. MMA cages may set a boundary on an MMA match, but they don’t block Lobosco’s influence on teenage wrestlers who call him coach.
“You want to show them everything you teach them – to practice what you preach,” he said. “Staying focused, living a healthy lifestyle and being mentally prepared to go out there and execute your game plan. It’s important to me when they come. I want to put on a show and do well for them. They’re my friends and my family. There can be a million people there to watch, but if you got 20 friends and family, those are the ones you worry about – it’s the same thing when my guys come to watch me.”
Lobosco said he’s going into the fight prepared to go wherever the fight goes, and not planning a knockout. Anticipating a win by knockout, he said, is the quickest way to suffer a knockout of your own. It’s this kind of discipline that’s allowed him to collect wins within the first round of his fights, as well as go a full 15 minutes for decision wins.
Lobosco has kept this frame of mind throughout his two-year career. The Watson Martial Arts fighter instills the same discipline into his high school team, but only on the campus mats. If his wrestlers want to get into MMA, they’d best to go find a different coach.
“I yell at them for three or four months,” Lobosco joked. “So it’s good for someone else to yell at them for a while.”
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