Josh Koscheck ‘Would Step Away from the Sport Before Fighting Jon Fitch’

November 22, 2011
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Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch UFC

Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch

Some teammates in mixed martial arts would gladly fight each other. Many view it simply as getting down to business, while others would do it if the price were right or the stakes high enough, say for a title shot.

None of those arguments hold water with Josh Koscheck and Jon Fitch.

Both have said time and again that they will not fight each other, at least in the Octagon, regardless of the stakes laid out on the table.

“If there’s no one else for me to compete with at 170 other than Koscheck, I’m going to move up,” Fitch has told

The truth is, they do fight each other, quite frequently.

“I fought him today, look at my forehead,” Koscheck joked at a recent question and answer session with fans.

“Me and Jon Fitch have been training together for eight years now. You guys really want to see us fight – Monday, Wednesday, Friday – come to AKA in San Jose (Calif.). You guys can stand up there, you can watch us fight, and it will be for free. You don’t have to pay $54 for it.”

All jesting aside, Koscheck is on the same page as Fitch when it comes to the two longtime training partners competing with each other for money or titles; it simply isn’t going to happen. More than two professional athletes sharing a training facility, they’ve grown much closer than that. They are like family to each other.

Some fighters can train together or at least with the same team and keep some semblance of separation between them, at least enough to be willing to step into the Octagon opposite one another. Georges St-Pierre and Carlos Condit both count themselves as Team Jackson’s fighters, but have kept a comfortable enough distance from each other that they are willing to fight. That’s not so with the American Kickboxing Academy welterweights.

“No chance (we will fight),” declared Koscheck. “It’s not worth it to me. I would rather step away from the sport than fight Jon Fitch.”

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  • KBEsq

    I truly hate this attitude. This is a sport, and this type of attitude feeds into the perception that MMA is just a bunch of brainless idiots who beat each other up.

    One thought: if you cannot fight a friend without it causing some kind of problem to the relationship, then you really aren’t good friends to begin with, or you have psychological problems that need to be addressed.

    I actually like the way Melvin Guillard puts it when they ask him about fighting Guida ,a teammate. He says, I won’t fight him just to fight him, but if the fight makes since and there is a title on the line, then I will fight him. Guillard just didn’t want the fight to be an arbitrary decision when so many other fights are available in the LWD – that’s a legitimate outlook and at least he is willing to be reasonable. The WWD is not like the LWD right now.

    I understand not wanting to fight a friend, I really do. But if it comes down to huge stakes like the championship or title eliminator, then get in the cage and fight. This is the big leagues now.

    • KBEsq

      **meant to say, “if the fight makes SENSE…”
      Not Since =P

  • jared499

    Ok I want to see them fight too and I agree that it is not good for the fans of the sport but completely disagree with the notion that a decision not to fight a friend or family memeber makes MMA appear to be comprised of “brainless idiots who beat each other up.” First and foemost I think that a choice not to fight someone who you are that close to would imply the opposite of your statement, if a person was willing to fight their friends/family it would appear to me that they hold higher regard for money, success, or fame. By making the choice not to fight, they are using something that a lot of people lack, their conscience. Determining for themselves what is right and wrong would probably exclude them from being an “idiot”. Secondly it happens in other combat sports as well. When was the last time we saw the Klitschko brothers fight. And they are both ranked in the top 10 at HW and P4P.

    Just my opinion.

    • KBEsq

      What you’re saying makes sense on the surface, but I still don’t agree. Yes, the decision to not fight a friend appears to make someone look thoughtful, or less brutish, but in reality (and what I really meant), is that by NOT fighting a friend, you are essentially saying, “yeah, we get in there with bad intentions to hurt our opponent with malice, and I don’t want to do that to a friend.” You cannot associate that attitude with a true sport.

      If this were truly a sport on par with the other big sports, there would be no issue with fighting friends – it would be the same as going against a team with your friend on it, or golfing against your friend. To say it is different is to say that this is still just fighting and not really a sport.

      • KBEsq

        Also, I forgot to say this, the Klitschko brothers are just that – Brothers. I don’t think ANYONE has an issue with family members not wanting to fight other family members. That’s totally different.

        Furthermore, allowing family members to avoid each other does not create the same problems as allowing friends to avoid each other. This sport has camps now, and it has for a long time. Friends are all over the place now by virtue of the camps that generate the fighters.

  • Ruckus77

    I don’t think it’s fair that MMA gets to talk on both sides of the fence like this. It’s either human cock-fighting in which case not fighting a friend can be understood or it’s a sport in which case it makes no since. I would have no problem bowling, playing tennis, or playing basketball against a good friend. They gotta pick a message and run with it. It’s a sport? Great no problem competing against friends and no reason to trash talk. It’s a fight? Trash talk, form gangs (camps) and go all WWE on it.

  • I hate this attitude too. Ultimately though I dont care as long as they are willing to switch weight classes to avoid it. If they were the top two contenders and wouldnt fight I would be pissed, but if they want to switch weight and create contenders in two classes that would be fine. Because while the fact that they are “fighting” shouldnt be a factor, the fact that they have to set back the others career is.

  • XIRandomHeroIX

    Not like he matters, see ya douche

  • MikeMc1983

    KBE, I understood what you meant, and agree with your stance. Refusing to fight a friend because you don’t want to hurt them, takes away from the arguement that this is a legit sport. With those particular guys anyhow.
    However, this is assuming that they don’t want to fight because they don’t want to physically harm their friend. I don’t think that’s the case however. Like ko’s said in that interview, if you want to see them fight, come to their gym Monday through Friday. This says to me that what they wish not to harm is their friends careers. It’s not that they don’t want to hit eachother. They do that regularly.
    Other sports that have tournament structures are different. You go into those with a different attitude.
    I’ll give an example. I play pool (billiards) at a semi pro level. I have a few friends that I run around with. We go to pool rooms, and play in tourneys. During that same visit we will play people for cash. Now I will not play any of my friends for money, however we do play eachother when forced to in the tourneys. We don’t ever request to play eachother out of respect.
    If the UFC was still in a tournament format I don’t think this stuff would be as much of an issue. But when guys beat guys, the loser usually loses his stock value. I can see friends not wanting to be a part of that.

    I’m not trying to put myself on an equal plane with the fighters. I can just understand social dynamics in individual sports. Im just offering another possiable perspective on why some guys may not want to compete with eachother. Given the fact that they hit eachother all the time. It just doesn’t make sense to me that they don’t want to fight because they don’t want to hit their friend.

    • KBEsq

      That’s a good point and something I didn’t really think of. It may be that they don’t want to hurt each others’ careers.

    • MrAdidas

      Very nicely said! Fighters are not “scared” to fight their teamates, but what they are worried about are injuries, especially severe injuries/career ending injuries. How often does that happen, not very often, but I cant imagine seriously injuring my teammate or possibly ending his career & pretend like nothing happened (“well its a fight & s**t happens” – Very true, but how would you feel knowing you ended your friends figthing career?!?

      Lets not forget that these guys train TOGETHER, so now you have to “split” up the team, who gets what trainers? where does the other guy train at? What fighters train with Fitch & which fighters train with Koscheck etc. etc. etc. There are many things people do not take into consideration, just the “team chemistry” alone & how that would affect the rest of the camp/fighters. Not easy to choose one “brother” to train with over another.

      Though I do understand KBE’s point & many other peoples point of view in regards to wanting to watch the best fights possible, which unfortunately means friend Vs friend and/or teammate Vs. teammate. Some have said they would NEVER fight a teammate, regardless of what is on the line, while others have said they would have NO PROBLEM fighting a teammate (it’s just business) & then some fighters say… “show me the money” or if it’s for a title shot, then they would fight. To each their own!

      IMO – I’d like to see Koscheck Vs Fitch & other teammates fighting each other, but I do understand their point of view & where they are comming from. I remember GSP giving his reason for not wanting to fight his friends/teammates, I believe he mentioned the fact that when he’s in the Octagon he becomes a different person, his thinking is “kill or be killed” so he’s going in there to HURT/FINISH his oponent, but what happens when you look across the Octagon & see your “best friend”? Do you still have the “kill or be killed” mentality, or do you have a slight hesitation?!? Any hesitation in figthing & you are DONE! Sooo the question is, now what…?

  • MikeMc1983

    It could be wrong, but it just seems to me if they didn’t want to harm their friends, they wouldn’t train together either. Though there are some great people that are fighters, statisticly there has to be complete idiots as well. Sometimes you never know what people are thinking.

  • bodhi1971

    So let me get this straight….Koshcheck would rather walk away from the sport and presumably retire than fight Fitch? What am I missing here? This seems like a win-win. PLEASE DANA & JOE SILVA MAKE THIS FIGHT HAPPEN!!!!

  • Personally, I don’t care to see Koscheck and Fitch fight each other. They could no longer be in the UFC for all I care!!! They’re just not that interesting to me, as fighters. They’re skilled and definitely top 10. I just don’t care to see them fighting each other or anybody else. I would not spend $50 on any of their fights. Move on!!!

  • bodhi1971

    With regards to fighting friends, I think it has more to do with one benefiting from the other’s career getting a setback. It is undeniable that there will be a winner & loser from the fight, both in terms of fight outcome but also with using your friend as a stepping stone. I wouldn’t feel right about compromising my friend’s ability to feed his family…so while I wish Koshcheck would go away, I do sympathize with his position.

  • clarkw90

    So everyone here that says this is BS, would you beat your mom up for everyone’s entertainment? Afterwards, are you going to tell her it’s just business? I know it’s extreme, but as a team, you become friends/family, i wouldn’t fight my friends/family just to entertain others, but thats just me. If any of you would beat up on your mom, please make a video of it and let me know so i can say, damn, i was wrong

  • MikeMc1983

    Clarkw90, People get your point. What they were getting at is if you want to consider mma a sport. Then the fighting your mom arguement doesn’t fit. The mma community has been trying to get people to stop looking at the events as a fight, and start viewing it as more of a competition. People have been professing that these are not barbarians in combat, but are athletes performing a craft.
    I stand by what I said earlier. These guys do hit eachother all the time. I don’t think it’s about not wanting to be aggressive with one another. Going with your example earlier. If I was willing to spar 5 days a week with my mom. Hitting her nearly everyday. I wouldn’t think I would have a problem fighting her on tv. I wouldn’t hit my mother on Saturday night, but I wouldn’t do it any other day of the week.

  • RubeKegal

    Clark I agree with you 100%. MikeMc, I hope you’re joking cuz if youre not, then you are speaking pure jibberish. “The mma community has been trying to get people to stop looking at the events as a fight, and start viewing it as a competition.” <— What are you smoking?

    #1 You are showing the majority of the MMA Fan Base doesn't give a flying f*** about the fighters they watch.


    KBEsq, you also have your head up your rectum. You said "if you cannot fight a friend without it causing some kind of problem to the relationship, then you really aren’t good friends to begin with"

    What the hell kind of rationale is that? I personally wouldn't fight my best friend even if someone said they'd give me 1/4 million dollars. Just isn't going to happen.

    Cheers to Kos and Fitch for standing up for what the believe in!!

  • MikeMc1983

    I didn’t say it wasn’t a fight, nor did I say I thought friends should fight eachother. The people pushing mma try to separate an mma fight from the fights the rest of us in society engage in. And there is a big difference. We usually fight from aggresive emotions. Mma fighters generaly are fighting with different motives, and intent.

    Rube, I would like to ask you why you would not fight your friend for money. I’m not being patronizing. I’m seriously asking you.

  • RubeKegal

    The UFC/MMA is different from other sports. Yes its a sport but it’s not like Braylon Edwards getting traded from the Jets to the 49ers and then playing his old team. In a fight, you try to inflict damage on your opponent in a fight. I wouldn’t want to do that to a friend. Sometimes real friends don’t want to do that to each other and I respect their decision.

    I would not fight one of my good friends for money. For guys like Donald Cerrone, and Carlos Condit who have said they would, I don’t particularly understand it but it is what it is. Then again some of these guys bounce around from camp to camp so often that they don’t truly have friends and it’s all a business.

    For a guy like Koscheck who is financially well off, he doesn’t need the $ to fight Fitch.

    MMAWeekly actually has a phenomenal video on this topic:
    ^^Nick Diaz talking about having to fight BJ Penn. Some of his quotes “Trained with him before, I know him and his brothers JD. And I don’t like walking past them and having to give them dirty looks like we don’t know each other, it’s just not the way its supposed to be. That’s not qhat fighting is all about.”

    “I had to fight somebody I know, I had to fight somebody who we might have been friends at some point in time……go out there and give each other a hug and go into the 3rd round. what the hell is that?”

    I agree with Diaz’s take on it.