Thought this would be a good read, especially from another fighters perspective(even if it is the guy that lost).
Below is the original link + story for those not wanting to leave the page.
John Kolosci's TUF diary, Episode 9
November 15, 2007
By John Kolosci
The quarter final picks were to be chosen by Serra and they allowed the fighters to come in and give their advice. No telling what was edited out, but it looks as if Ben and I were the only two that got what we asked for. Richie actually was given the one match he did not want. That’s probably why they gave it to him. As you all seen, they asked me who I thought was the toughest guy in the house and I said Mac. Then, they asked me who I wanted to fight, and I said Mac. Some may question; in hindsight would I do the same thing? Well, the answer to that is an emphatic YES. It may not be considered the brightest decision making, but I’ve always felt better about myself taking the road less desired. I had friends and teammates all stating that I should be vocal about who I wanted to fight and to choose whatever it took to make it to the finals. Sure, I could have probably talked my way into an easier fight, but that would bother me inside. I actually wanted to fight Danzig in the prelims, but he was chosen to fight Joey first. So, when there was a ton of hype about Billy and how good he was, I naturally believed he was the next best guy on the team. I asked Serra right away to choose that match-up for me, but as you all know, Hughes did it for me. Again, I have no regrets and would do the same thing again. I only wanted to fight the best in the house, win or lose. If I win, I’m the better man. If I lose, I hope to learn something from it and come back better.
Dana pulled a quick one on us and said that two of the Serra guys that were fighting each other had to train with and be cornered by Hughes. It didn’t really sit well with the team and no one wanted to go over there. It was based off of a trust we had with Serra and all the negative things we had heard about Hughes throughout the weeks there. No one wanted to be around that negativity. I found it interesting that when Matt and Richie asked to talk to the coaches, Hughes considered it “high-schoolish”. I personally thought it was the mature thing to do and talking something out is actually what adults do. When asked if the coaches felt any awkwardness, Fiore shook his head yes and agreed, while Hughes, with his smug look, states that there was no awkwardness. It seems like he’s off key with his own coaching staff. That sure wouldn’t make me feel comfortable in there. I guess I just don’t get Hughes, as he’s the exact opposite of me, personality wise. He just doesn’t seem very friendly or personable. I’ve trained at multiple gyms and most people I have met in this sport have been very cool, laid back, relaxed and friendly. I don’t get that feeling with Hughes. Oh well, it was what it was and everyone had one job to do…FIGHT.
Mac was definitely losing it in the house and guys from both teams were upset with him and his “bi-polar” attitude. He did openly admit it and worked toward fixing it. War Machine decided to move his bird feeder and I believe he did it on a couple occasions. It wasn’t malicious and he just moved it like 20 feet, but it was funny to see Mac’s reaction. When they set Bob up next to the feeder, with his glasses on, that was so hilarious when you were there to see it. I was swimming that morning and was just cracking up every time I looked at it. Not sure how it came across to the viewers at home, but I just could not stop laughing as it was sort of an “inside joke” with me. Mac is a good guy and I got along with him just fine, but he had his moments. The good thing about Mac is that he is intelligent enough to admit his faults and work toward improving on them. He did get much better in the later weeks, but the stomping he gave me might have had something to do with that (LOL!).
Now the fight…UGH!!! I’m not sure what I was thinking in there. Actually, I was not thinking in there. I have had 12 fights and there are fights where I remember the entire fight and hear my corner perfectly. There are fights where I remember most of it and hear my corner most of the time. This was a fight, where I remember very little and did not hear my corner at all. This game is very mental, which many people do not understand, and if you’re not right in the head, you are not going to perform well. I asked for this fight and then freaked myself out just hours before the fight, thinking about all that was at stake and the opponent I chose. I don’t understand why and cannot really explain it with absolute certainty. Serra made a good point about me doing well, as long as I could keep my wits about me. Well, that didn’t happen. Danzig even noticed how nervous I was, as everything was telegraphed and I just was not relaxed in there. After seeing the fight, I see that he popped me with a good left and it looks like I was hell-bent on taking him down after that. My feet also kept slipping out from under me. I’m definitely not a fan of that canvas. You’ll see that fighters spill water by their corner to wet their feet and get grip, but once it dries (in 10 seconds) that grip is gone. That just added to my anxiety and was wearing me down mentally and physically. We were all under the impression that Mac loved to fight off his back and would be easy to take down, but I found out later that after the Sakurai fight, he sought out a high level wrestling coach and has been working on his wrestling ever since. No excuse though, as it’s my job to adapt in a fight. After several failed attempts at taking him down and wearing myself out, Mac finally took my back and sunk in a rear naked choke. I didn’t get my chin down or defend very well at all. Just horrible! I honestly do not remember any of that. Watching this fight on TV was like watching a new fight. Mac was the better fighter and showed why he was so highly regarded in the house. I took the loss hard, as I did have a certain expectation to do much better on this show and now it was gone. Oh well, I feel I have learned from this and am doing everything I can to improve and come back better than ever. I still would not change my pick and never second guessed it. I only have regrets about my performance and the anxiety I could not control, which still disturbs me. Danzig is the toughest guy I’ve ever fought and this will only make me better. The funny thing about my prior losses is that I’ve always had lousy excuses about why I lost. I blamed the referee, judges or being sick before the fight and never really learned a lesson. The truth is, when looking back on them, it WAS my fault and I should have learned from them. I will not make that mistake again, and will definitely chalk this up as a learning experience and use it to improve.
I still keep in contact with many of the guys on the show and the one thing we all tend to have in common is the anxiety leading up to the week we lose. I’m definitely no exception. I have no excuses and fully admit that I lost to the better fighter. I do not believe that I fought to my full potential and would love a chance to redeem myself, but I cannot change what happened. I still consider myself in the top 3 or 4 in the house. I did not go on this show to finagle my way into the finals by getting easy picks. From the beginning, I considered this a great opportunity for myself and I wanted to see where I was at in this game. I told myself, before I even got there, that I would be asking for the toughest guy on the show. I had no idea who the contestants were beforehand, but knew there would be a guy or two that would be perceived as the best. I’ve said it numerous times to family and friends, that the greatest thing I brought back from this show was the learning experience. Mac’s point about not losing to someone who does this part time is a point well taken. I think it made a ton of sense. There are many people I socialize with that just do not understand the time, effort and dedication the top guys put into fighting. They don’t understand what the Randy Couture’s and Chuck Liddell’s (or any top 10 fighter for that matter) do to get where they are. Since fighting wasn’t the only thing in my life, there were many days I would skip practice, or take way too much time off after fights. I just didn’t have the dedication needed, in the past. I realize what this show has done for me and my fighting career and I’m now dedicated to training, unlike any other time in my career. I realize that I had not previously trained hard enough (all my fault) for this level of competition and that I needed specific coaching in each area of MMA. I trained with a great team and a wonderful bunch of guys, but they were very close friends and I would find myself taking advantage of that friendship and being lazy. I’d come in late, leave early and not put all I had into training. When I came back from the show, I felt that I needed to switch it up a bit and just get different looks. After getting tapped by Serra numerous times (seemed like thousands) I realized my jiu jitsu was not where it should be. Ray Longo pointed out many short comings in my stand-up game as well. So, when I returned home I sought out all new trainers and now train with Montell Griffin (McGarry’s Boxing Club) for boxing, Joey and Dan Gilbert (Gilbert Grappling) for my wrestling/submission grappling and Dino Costeas (POW) for my jiu jitsu. I travel a whole lot more (gas prices are killing me!) and lose sleep between training and work, but I believe it’s all worth it. These guys are awesome at what they do and the training has been phenomenal! Over these past few months I feel like I have turned a corner and have improved immensely. I’m not saying I’m ready for top 10 guys, but I’m a perceptive student of this game and am improving week by week. I’m ready for the Ultimate Finale and I’m ready to start making a mark in the UFC by working my way up the ranks. As stated on the show, I do have a full time career and am fortunate enough to make a good living doing what I do. I’ve been asked many times why I do this, when I don’t need to. Well, the simple answer is that I just love to fight and I love to compete. I do hate to lose, as I’m the guy that throws the checker board across the table if it’s inevitable that I’m about to lose, and this loss isn’t sitting well with me. As for choosing MMA, there is so much more to this sport than meets the eye. I have been doing this since 2003 and I still learn something new every week. It’s unbelievable how technical this sport really is. I believe I’ve mentioned on a past blog that I started off seeking out a jiu jitsu gym just to release some energy and one thing led to another, and here I am. Now that I’m here, my competitive side has taken over and I’m working harder than I ever have in my life. These last 4 1⁄2 years have been a wild ride and I am ecstatic to be here. Please do not count me out, as I have a great work ethic and a will to compete and win at the highest levels possible.
Stay tuned for next weeks episode and more quarter final action…