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Bellator News: Josh Koscheck talks leaving UFC, GSP build-up, Paul Daley fight

The following is from a third party:

Newly signed Bellator welterweight Josh Koscheck made his Submission Radio debut this week. Here's a transcript from his interview:

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What prompted Josh to jump over to Bellator

“The biggest thing was the way that your hands are tied behind your back when dealing with the UFC. It's like if you just go against the grain one time, then it’s like a slap on the face. You know, they just kind of yell at you and treat you like shit. And it’s a lot of things too. It's like not only do you have your hands tied behind your back, in my opinion you have an eight-ball stuffed in your mouth and you really can’t say anything. So it’s kind of nice to be done with that pressure where you don’t have somebody breathing down your back, and it just wasn’t fun for me to fight for the UFC, so I figured that I need a change in my life.

"And after signing this last contract that I had with him, I just wanted to get out of my fights as quickly as possible so I could move on with my life and be done. And even if I never fought again after that last contract, this last fight that I had, I wasn’t going to resign with them, because it’s simple; you put 27 fights in, you give them 10 years of your life, you’d think that they would have stepped up to the game or stepped up to the plate and put a job offer in front of me or something to keep me involved with the UFC and the sport, but there was no talk of that. And so I decided that it was best for me to move on to Bellator anyway, because Scott Coker is so cool and I started my career on Spike TV and I would like to end it on Spike as well.”

On if he had a chat with Dana White before he decided to leave UFC

“Nah. It was none of his business what I do with my career. So I knew he wasn’t stepping up to the plate, because he had gotten an offer from Bellator and he didn’t pick up the phone or have the courage to pick up the phone until, you know, his flop of a Reebok deal came out and that was the 'Josh Koscheck media day'. And my media day was bigger than his flopped Reebok deal, so he should actually be patting me on the back (laughs). 'Cause the day Reebok launched was a nightmare. Josh Koscheck was all over the news going over as far as signing with Bellator. So I did get a phone call that day actually from him, and needless to say it wasn’t the politest conversation between the both us.”

On what would have happened if the UFC matched Bellator's deal if Josh would have stayed

“Nope. I wouldn’t have signed with them. I would have renegotiated back with Bellator and got a better contract that they couldn’t match. So I wouldn’t sign back with them.”

On if Josh felt like the UFC was a different company in 2015 compared to when he came in 10 years ago

“You know, it’s always been the handcuffs and the eight ball. It’s always been that way, so don’t fool yourselves. The media is partly to blame for this because you guys don’t step up and talk. You guys don’t tell the truth because you’ll get blackballed from the events and covering them, so that’s where it starts. It starts with the media speaking up and being truthful and covering it for the fighters, because the fighters are the most important thing. So when dealing with that organization its always been like that. It’s always been “oh hey, well sign this document. If else not, you’re getting kicked out” you know? I mean the history is all documented. If you go back and look at the history of - for example the videogame rights [THQ's UFC: Undisputed]. You know, it was all, if we don’t sign it we’re done, cancelled, 'X', kicked out. You know? So it’s all documented. Let’s just hope at some point this lawsuit that the UFC is under, this class action lawsuit can get to where it needs to be and the fighters can all get on board with this thing and put 'em right in their place for forcing them and forcing them to sign things that they didn’t want to sign.”

 “I mean I can remember back for example coming off the Ultimate Fighter I wanted to have my attorneys and my management look at the contract. And I remember the conversation clearly. It was me sitting in Dana White's office inside the Ultimate Fighter Gym, and he said to me "you’re going to let this F’n manager screw your career up by not singing onto this agreement". And you know what I signed? I had to sign an agreement saying that I was signed with the UFC and my fight pay was five thousand for one year, five thousand and five thousand for the first year, seven thousand and seven thousand for the second year, and ten and ten for the third year. I fought Georges St. Pierre, the first time I fought him for ten thousand dollars. So I was stuck in that contract because I got forced to sign it when I wanted my attorneys and my management to look over that agreement and that contract with me. So that’s the pathetic thing. And that’s what I talk about having the eight ball and the hands tied behind your back.

"I was forced to sign that contract right in front of him and he was like "you’re going to let this guy 'F' you up" and then I’m trapped in the room, and here I am this young kid that has no experience and that’s why I have a manager, and I have no experience with that. But you know what, I’m not going to complain about that now because down the road I got taken care of because I did what I had to do. I freaking....I was a team player for a while because I understood how it worked after a while and I understood that hey, I’m gonna build fights and I’m gonna make myself valuable. And I went out there and I made myself valuable by winning fights and hyping fights like the Georges St. Pierre fight. So I got my due afterwards. But you know it’s just things like that. And I can only imagine if that’s just me, you know, how many of these other guys are being taken advantage of.”

“Look at the percentages of money that goes to the fighters. It's probably like less than five or ten percent, versus them getting ninety? Ninety percent of the money. Yeah, you know these fighters need to be taken care of. For example if I never got a contract with Bellator. What was my retirement like? Do I have a 401k with the UFC? Did I have a job with the UFC after I'm done? My name wasn't Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin or Matt Hughes, you know? Or Nogueira, you know? I think I've done more for the UFC than Nogueira without a doubt. And he gets a job. So where's the discretion there? Where does it stop? Who's to determine these types of things? Them. So there has to be somebody that represents the fighters.”

On how Josh can get back on a winning track after multiple back to back loses in the UFC

“Yeah, well I have [for] a long time. Those fights were over a course of three years, three and a half years. So I took some time and focused on some other businesses and got things going. So regardless if I was to ever fight again or not, Josh Koscheck is gonna be fine because I’m willing to freakin' walk through the shit to get the glory, to get to the top of the hill that I wanna be at. So whether it be my businesses or whether it be back inside the Bellator cage, I’m willing to walk through the shit to get to the top. So I’m willing to put the work in and I’m gonna put the work in. And this is my last hoorah with Bellator. You know, I’m gonna finish my career on Spike TV and with Bellator, and I’m really pumped about it. So I just gotta put the work in. If I put the work in I believe I can still win fights.”

On what he thinks about Robbie Lawler and if the belt looks to move around over the next few fights

“I definitely think the belt's going to move around. The UFC belt is definitely gonna get passed around. GSP was a special guy and I think that he had a great run, and it was smart of him to leave when he did. I think that he’s going to be the one that everyone is going to look back and say "wow, he left the champion and he left on top". So it's pretty awesome for Georges, and I think Georges would be a guy that would be a good representation for head or one of the VP’s or heads of the union. You know, he speaks well, he’s been there, done that, and he hasn’t always been on good terms with the UFC it sounds like. And I think that Georges - I can't say for sure, but I remember some conversations when we were teaching and coaching on The Ultimate Fighter season 12, so in the conversations that I had with Georges at the time [It sounded like Georges wasn't happy]. I think things will come 360 and something good is going to happen soon for us fighters. But the Welterweight division, it’s always going to be tough, because it’s that 170 to 185 type of athlete. So it’s the middle range and there’s a lot of guys out there in the world that are around that weight, and it seems to be always a tough division.”

On if Josh ever had any real ill will towards Georges St. Pierre

“Nah. We knew what our job was and we did it. So I have no ill will against Georges St. Pierre, so he’s a stand-up guy and I would even say that. You know, when you can edit things from the first day and put 'em in the last day and vice versa, editing can do some crazy things. But that’s what you sign up for reality TV and shows. But Georges is a great champion. When you can go out and you lose your title and then you win it back and then you go on a tear for four or five fights or whatever he did, that’s pretty impressive. He’s always been a great champion, he wore the belt great, and I’m excited about seeing the future of what Georges St. Pierre can bring to the table to help support the fighters.”

On if there’s still a grudge there with Paul Daley all those years later from their original UFC fight

“Yeah, you know, I’m ready to beat down Paul Daley again. That’s one of the reasons why I was so excited about signing with Bellator, and pretty much primarily the only reason I wanted to sign, is to get a chance to take this guy out. You know, I grinded him out. He still - after watching him fight - he's still got 3rd grade wrestling. So it’s gonna be an easy fight for me. I probably won’t even do any wrestling for the whole camp, just because his wrestling is just pathetic and I can’t wait for that fight, and that’s what I’m working towards. I gotta go out there and obviously win a fight or win maybe two fights and hopefully Paul Daley can be my third fight. So I’m looking forward to potentially getting that fight next summer.”

On how the second fight with Paul will play out compared to their first fight

“I’ll finish him. It’s that plain and simple. I’m gonna finish Paul Daley and it'll probably be in the first or second round. So that fight won’t go any further than that. I’ll put money on that.”

On if Josh would be open to a fight with Chris Leben if he got signed to Bellator

“Yeah I think so, but I think Chris Leben is still tied to the UFC, so I don’t see him getting…they own him. So I don’t see him becoming a free agent out of the UFC. But I’d definitely love that opportunity to get in there and mix it up with Chris Leben again.”

If Josh is interested in fighting Andrey Koreshkov for the Welterweight title and becoming a champion in Bellator

“Nope. I don’t care about a belt. You know what I care about? Big fights, big ratings and lots of butts in the seat. That’s what I care about. You know, at some point hopefully I’d love the opportunity to fight on like Fort Benning, or Fort Bragg, or Camp Lejeune, one of the military bases. I think that would be pretty surreal to the get the opportunity to go back there and Spike TV lines up a fight for the troops again. So that’s one of my goals , do one more fight for the troops at some point and just make it a good little run here in Bellator. I don’t care about belts. Those things are all sweet and dandy, but it’s not important for me. What’s important for me is to go out there and win a couple of fights and then whip Paul Daley’s ass. That’s all I care about.”

On when we can expect Josh to have his first Bellator fight

“Yup, we’ll be fighting Bellator in December. I don’t know if it’s the 11th or 12th. Whatever that Friday is of that week, that’s when I’m fighting, and I’m fighting in Fresno California.”