Could Josh Koscheck’s Stint As TUF Coach Change His Image?

UFC welterweight contender Josh Koscheck certainly did not win over many fans with his unanimous decision victory over Paul Daley at UFC 113 in Montreal. In fact, it’s safe to say that Koscheck is officially the most hated fighter in the welterweight division, especially in the eyes of Canadians. After being accused of faking an injury, Koscheck thoroughly dominated Daley on the ground for three rounds executing a near perfect game plan to neutralize the Brit’s explosive striking.

In the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, the brash welterweight had some choice words for the Montreal fans who were booing his performance. Like a true heel, Koscheck predicted his Pittsburgh Penguins would wipe the floor with the Bell Centre’s beloved Montreal Canadians. The newly crowned number one contender infuriated the Montreal crowd even further when he stated he would dethrone Canada’s own Georges St. Pierre when they square off again for the belt.

Needless to say, Koscheck is not going to be welcomed back to Canada with open arms anytime soon. That’s the beauty of Koscheck though, he doesn’t care what people think about him. Certain fighters will act differently in order to appease the fans, but Koscheck is Koscheck all the way through. If people boo him, that’s perfectly fine. In fact, he embraces it like an old school WWF style villain.

With his win over Daley, Koscheck will square off against St. Pierre on season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter as opposing coaches before battling the welterweight champion for the title probably this December. Whether or not Koscheck stands a chance against St. Pierre in the Octagon is a different story, but the number one contender should impress viewers with his coaching abilities and entertain with his antics.

Before transitioning into mixed martial arts, Koscheck was a wrestling coach for the University of Buffalo and a damn good one to be exact. As a coach, Koscheck helped the Buffalo Bulls wrestling team reach new and exciting heights. Koscheck did a superb job of not only physically improving the wrestlers on the team, but also increasing their confidence level.

Anyone involved in combat sports understands the significance of the mental game. You can be an absolute wrecking machine physically, but if your mental game is lacking you will struggle against top competition. Koscheck helped young collegiate wrestlers believe in their abilities more than they had in the past and in turn aided them in achieving their goals.

Along with his collegiate coaching background, Koscheck was a cast member on the original season of The Ultimate Fighter. He experienced living in the TUF house for six weeks with 15 other fighters having absolutely no contact to the outside world. He dealt with having the cameras constantly in his face. He went through having to fight multiple times in a 6-week period. From being in the situation before, he will know how to train his team properly for the competition.

If you look back at previous seasons featuring TUF winners as coaches they’ve all done well. Most recently Rashad Evans opened eyes with his leadership abilities on season 10. The same can be said for Michael Bisping on season 9 as well as Matt Serra on season 6. Koscheck never won TUF but he still has the familiarity from being in the house where as St. Pierre does not.

That’s not to say St. Pierre will prove to be an incompetent coach, not at all. Training with the welterweight champion and one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world is certainly going to be an honor and privilege for the fighters selected on his team. St. Pierre had a brief stint as an assistant coach on The Ultimate Fighter: The Comeback, a season that featured a cast of UFC veterans fighting for a title shot rather than a UFC contract. Fighters such as Jorge Rivera and Chris Lytle learned a lot through working with St. Pierre on season 4.

Technique wise, St. Pierre has more to offer a young fighter than Koscheck. Still, when it comes to The Ultimate Fighter it’s all about playing the game and Koscheck plays as well as anyone. Mind games will also come into play and we all know Koscheck is one of the best in MMA today.

Koscheck’s appearance on TUF could mirror another antagonistic UFC personality’s stint on the show. Everyone loved to hate Tito Ortiz until they saw him coach on season 3 against UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock. Fans still dislike Ortiz to a certain extent, but they gained a newfound respect for him through watching him on the show. Expect Koscheck to follow a similar path. You might hate the cocky welterweight today, but at the conclusion of season 12, you will appreciate him.

follow Mitch on Twitter at @mitchciccarelli