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I'd rather retire than fight Fitch - Koscheck

ESPN staff
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Josh Koscheck was not at his best but still beat Mike Pierce at UFC 143 © Getty Images
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Josh Koscheck has ruled out the possibility of fighting good friend Jon Fitch despite splitting from American Kickboxing Academy, insisting he would rather 'quit' the sport than fight his good friend.

Koscheck called time on his partnership with his team AKA, who he has been with for nearly eight years, following his victory over Mike Pierce at UFC 143 on Saturday night.

The welterweight has been a long-time team-mate of Fitch's, and he is adamant the two will never clash in the Octagon.

"That ain't ever going to happen," Koscheck told MMAWeekly.com. "I'll move up a weight class or I'll just quit. Dana White, he's great about it, he was joking with me at the press conference and I joked with him back and I said 'good luck with that one buddy'.

"If me and Fitch became the No. 1 contenders, if we were fighting edge to edge for the title for the No. 1 contender, then I could see why Dana would say 'yeah you guys need to fight' but I would probably just end up walking away from the sport. Because it doesn't mean that much to me to fight a friend."

Koscheck says the reason behind his decision to split from the San Jose based gym is his fallout with trainer and AKA founder Javier Mendez.

"There's one reason I'm leaving San Jose AKA and that's because of Javier Mendez," Koscheck said. "He's the only reason I'm leaving that gym. It almost hurts me because I love training with those guys, I love training with [Jon] Fitch, and [Mike] Swick and Cain [Velasquez] and [Daniel] Cormier, and [Justin] Wilcox and all those guys, they are my brothers, and it hurts me to have to make this decision for me because the fact that it's like splitting up the family."

The rift began in 2008, according to Koscheck, when he took a fight with Thiago Alves at UFC 90 on short notice. Koscheck ended up losing the contest but it was the way in which his coach reacted to the defeat that rankled with him.

"This goes back from quite a bit, and history repeats itself," Koscheck added. "Whenever you have a guy for example whenever I had the loss against [Thiago] Alves and I took the fight on short notice with him, and after the fight I had a lot of friends come up to me and calling me saying 'have you read this interview with Javier Mendez?' and talking about me and my game plan.

"So I went online and I read this interview and I started to notice after all my team-mates lost, it was the same thing. They didn't listen to the game plan, that he deferred it away from himself, and he threw us under the bus basically saying that we didn't listen to him and he tries to make himself look good, so it doesn't reflect on him us losing."

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