There was a certain shockwave effect that let loose when Josh Koscheck revealed he was leaving American Kickboxing Academy after his last fight in the UFC against Mike Pierce.
Not because fighters never change trainers or training camps, but because Koscheck had been a mainstay of the San Jose, Calif., based team ever since his time ended on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Fast forward to seven years later and for the first time since then, Koscheck is training apart from his former team, and it has served as rejuvenation for a competitor that was starting to see the end of the line regarding his fight career if things didn't change.
“I feel like my career may have just slacked a little bit, got a little bit longer than what it was in the past. So I feel like I just added two more years to my career because of being able to not have to travel for training is a good thing, so it's a blessing,” Koscheck said recently on a media conference call.
The move was from San Jose to Fresno, Calif., where Koscheck resides and owns his home gym. Add to that a split from a head coach at American Kickboxing Academy that he believed had become a toxic relationship to a more positive outlook with his new team, Koscheck has new life as he heads into UFC on Fox 3.
“It's good man. It's good to finally, after eight years, to never have to travel and just stay at home and do my training right here in Fresno,” said Koscheck. “There's a lot of positive people around, so it's good man.
“I'm in a great place and I can't wait to fight May 5 and show that I made the right decision and have the right training partners and the right coaches.”
Now, just because Koscheck has split with his former team in San Jose doesn't mean he didn't have some familiar faces around his camp as he prepared for his UFC on Fox 3 match up with Johny Hendricks.
Head coach Bob Cook will still be leading the corner for Koscheck come fight night, as well as jiu-jitsu ace Dave Camarillo, who himself exited American Kickboxing Academy in 2011, after being a mainstay of the team for several years.
The changes, however, were a big difference for Koscheck, who seems reinvigorated after some stale moments in past fights, and his new team seems to be a big part of the reason why.
“It's been a good training camp, probably one of the better training camps that I've had in a while, and the focus has been 100-percent me,” said Koscheck. “So I have had new striking coaches, personal time, personal attention with those types of coaches.
“I hired Alan Fried as my wrestling coach and he's one of the former greats in wrestling and a former Oklahoma State guy and probably one of the best wrestlers to come out of there. So I think that I've got a lot of good people around me and a lot of people that actually care. So those were the biggest changes.”
The ultimate test to see if the changes worked, however, will come on Saturday night as Koscheck looks to win his third fight in a row as he faces fellow former NCAA champion Johny Hendricks at UFC on Fox 3 from New Jersey.