The fallout from Josh Koscheck‘s exit from the American Kickboxing Academy has now resulted in one of the original team members speaking out as well.
Former UFC fighter Brian Johnston, who first competed in the Octagon at UFC 10 and had memorable battles with names like Don Frye, Mark Coleman and Ken Shamrock, recently backed up Koscheck’s words for AKA trainer Javier Mendes.
Johnston was one of the original fighters to work with American Kickboxing Academy all the way back in 1996 when he was preparing for his bout in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Johnston has been retired from active MMA competition for more than a decade, but when reading Koscheck’s statement about why he left AKA, he felt compelled to speak out as well.
Johnston messaged Koscheck when the news first broke about his exit from the gym.
“I have been biting my lip for about 12 years,” Johnston wrote. “Out of respect for the person I thought Jav (Mendez) was, MMA probably would not exist at AKA if it was not for me. I brought MMA to the gym.”
Johnston says that he was instrumental along with UFC legend Frank Shamrock in recruiting current AKA coach Bob Cook to come to the gym, and build the team from the early days.
“I was the one that told Frank (Shamrock) to talk to Jav and in turn we got Bob (Cook) and Bob is responsible for the evolution of AKA, not Jav,” Johnston stated. “I trained guys to victories in Pride over (Mark) Kerr, (Ken) Shamrock, (Jerome) LeBanner. Bob helped me train a guy who beat Ryan Gracie after Gracie knocked him out the first time they fought and Jav has never given me an ounce of credit. Not for introducing him to MMA nor for the evolution of AKA or my coaching abilities.”
To finish his letter, Johnston wished Koscheck the best in his future endeavors.
“I think you will really reach a new level training in a politics free zone,” Johnston wrote. “I look forward to watching you.”
Koscheck has already started working on his camp for his next fight, scheduled against Johny Hendricks on May 5 in New Jersey.
Just recently, Koscheck added former Olympic hopeful and Oklahoma State wrestler Alan Fried to his staff at his gym, AKA Fresno.
Koscheck will be working there exclusively as he gets ready for his fight with Hendricks on May 5.