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'TUF 6's' John Kolosci Joins Strikeforce One Year After Leaving Six-Figure Job

The Ultimate Fighter 6 contestant John Kolosci left a six-figure job exactly a year ago to pursue mixed martial arts as a full-time career, and he's hoping to make an impression Saturday in his Strikeforce debut on the undercard of the CBS-televised "Fedor vs. Rogers" event in Hoffman Estates, Ill.

He'll take on 26-year-old Shamar Bailey (12-1), a firefighter with a wrestling background who trains with UFC veterans Chris Lytle and Jake O'Brien.

Kolosci talks about mixed martial arts as a full-time job in this interview below with FanHouse and tell us experience will be his key to victory against Bailey.

Who and where are you training now?

I train full time now at LA Boxing in Merrillville, Indiana and Gilbert Grappling in Country Club Hills, Illinois. I also cross train here and there and have guys in all the time from other gyms around the Midwest. It's a whole lot of fun.

When you're studying an opponent, do you watch footage or do you let your trainers do that?

The trainers and I both do it and discuss all the aspects of the opponents game and how we plan to fight the guy. I don't really make game plans as they typically go out the window in a fight, but I learn what to watch out for defensively, or what to look for offensively and see what takes place in the cage.

You were known as the computer guy on TUF 6, I understand you have since left the computer industry to train full-time. When did you leave and what motivated you to finally make the move?

About a year ago, November 2008, I left the computer industry and started training full-time. I'm a competitor and came to the realization that I could not compete at the highest levels while working a full-time job and training part-time. When working an eight to 10 hour day, plus travel time, I would skip a lot of practices or just not be in it mentally to work as hard as I possibly could. I gave up a six-figure salary to to chase a dream. I sure as hell hope it works out!

Have you noticed differences in your progress, fighting now that you're training full-time?

Huge difference. Now, when I have a fight I literally do nothing but eat, sleep and train. I wake up at 11 a.m., eat, go train, eat, go to chiropractor or for massage, eat, go home and nap, eat, go train, eat, get home to prepare food for next day, eat, go to bed. That's my regimen for six to eight weeks prior to a fight. I have no choice but to get better. Every part of my game has improved exponentially since my time on TUF. I have coaches for wrestling, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing and strength and conditioning. They all push me to my limits and I believe it will pay off.

Without a full-time job, how much does sponsorships and fight purses contribute to allowing fighters to train full-time? The story over the weekend was former TUF fighter War Machine going into the adult industry for the money, claiming that he was tired of fighting paycheck for paycheck.

Yes, I seen that. What a pimp! It's all about winning in this sport, and that's how your going to make money with not only fights, but with sponsorships. I was lucky enough to meet up with the owners of LA Boxing here in Indiana and they offered me a teaching job, which helps make ends meet, along with fight purses and sponsors. I also manage fighters now and am getting into the promoting business.

Also, a part of the contributing factor allowing me to train full time is that I'm not a typical retard American consumer. I saved a lot of money, when I was making money, and can live off that if things went bad. I don't have an overbloated house, I don't buy stupid toys, I have no credit card debt and I live simply. I was driving a 1998 Dodge Neon with 110,000 miles when I was making $120,000/year. I'm just not a big fan of buying worthless bull[crap] like most humans and I don't care to be rich. I have simple tastes and I love to fight, that's all it comes down to. There are ways to make it in this game, outside of purely just fighting.

Coming into TUF 6, anyone who knew Mac Danzig thought he would win and he did. What do you think that says about you that you went ahead and asked to fight him?

That I'm dumb? (Laughs.) I think it shows that I was a competitor and looking for the toughest challenge possible. I went into the show saying that I would ask to fight the best guys in the house just to see where I stand. I asked to fight Danzig in the first round before there were any fight picks, just because I knew who he was. It didn't work out that way and I guess that's a good thing. Then there was hype around Billy, so I asked for that fight and it worked out. I did not want to fight the "easier" guys in the house and make it to the finale overrated. I wouldn't change anything and I think the whole experience made me a better person and now a much better fighter.

What's it like for you to sign on to fight on this card? Besides the main card attractions, the undercard seems like a who's who of Midwest veterans and up and comers.

I'm really really pumped about this card. It's Fedor and it's on CBS. What else can I say? The main card is stacked and as you stated, the undercard is some of the best of the Midwest. It's really exciting to get back on a big show and fight in front of thousands of people. I plan to make the best of it.

How do you visualize the fight against Shamar Bailey going?

I have a feeling this fight will be a war. Both of us are strong 170-pounders with good wrestling and we hit hard. But, I train extremely hard to be as well-rounded as possible and I believe my experience in the UFC, along with a number of wars will help me get through this one. Shamar is a very tough competitor, but I think I have more of an all around game than him and I plan to have my hand raised at the end.

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