FightWorks Podcast contributor Bruce Hoyer brings us this profile of John Kolosci, who’s is a contestant on the newest season of The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV.
How did you get started in MMA?
I started training about 41/2 years ago. I was really just looking for a way to expend my “energy”, as I was getting into stupid street fights too often (a problem since childhood). I found a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school and it did the trick by keeping me busy, motivated and exhausted. Once I started training there and hanging around this group of people, MMA was inevitable. I met a couple guys (Wisniewski brothers) that owned a MMA gym, started training there and it just snowballed from that point on. I never really expected to fight outside of my hometown on smaller shows, but one thing led to another and here I am. I’m VERY competitive, athletic and I love to fight, so I guess it was just a matter of time (along with tons of hard work) before I found myself in the UFC. I’m absolutely ecstatic to be fighting for them!
What is your background in?
As much as I hate to admit this, I have always just been a street brawler. I do have a Black Belt in Shotokan, but I do not believe it’s ports over into MMA very well, except for maybe the kicks. I’ve trained exclusively with Duneland Vale-Tudo for the past 4 1/2 years and now I’m moving around a bit and training at Gilbert Grappling for Wrestling/Submissions and I’m working with Mike Davis & Montell Griffin, at Celtic Boxing, for my stand-up. But, my strength has been in wrestling and ground-n-pound.
What was or is your job currently?
I’m currently a Supervisor in Enterprise Computing Services (Microsoft & Citrix Server Team) at BlueCross/BlueShield of IL. Prior to that, I was a Senior Systems Engineer for about 10 years at multiple companies. I have an Associates Degree in Computer Networking. I also have multiple technical certifications, including Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Citrix Certified Administrator (CCA), Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) and CompTIA Network+ & A+ certifications.
When you were told that you made the show what did you first?
Screamed like a little girl:-) Just kidding, I called my fiance right away and let her know. It was quite exciting/nerve-racking as it was nothing but waiting, as the list of guys continued to get cut and you would sit there and wonder if you’d make the next cut.
Who do you look up to in MMA and why?
Anyone that is ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight class. That group of guys have worked VERY HARD to make it into that elite list and every single one of them are at a different level than those below. I respect that type of hard work, dedication and skill level very much. Obviously, anyone that is or has been a World Champion also impresses the hell out of me!
What does being an Ultimate Fighter mean to you?
Well, previously being an Ultimate Fighter just meant reaching goals in a sport that I truly enjoyed. First it was just winning and fighting on local shows. Once I accomplished that I started fighting on bigger shows and winning as well. Then, at some point you start to imagine fighting for the UFC (everyone wants to, if they say they don’t, they are lying). Now that I’m an Ultimate Fighter in the UFC, it means the world to me. It’s extremely tough to work a full time job and compete at this level, but I’m doing it. Most guys are doing this full time and fitting in training is no problem for them. With my schedule, I am one busy man. So, to me it’s just hard work and dedication to do something you love and to do your best to excel at it. In my case, it’s Ultimate Fighting. I’m just enjoying life and riding this wave…
My busy schedule: I wake up at 5am and go to the gym to lift weights (explosive strength training), do plyometrics and cardiovascular training. From there, I go to work for about 10 hours. When I get off work, I head to the gym to train MMA (wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu & muay thai). I’m in bed by 9:30pm – 10:00pm, wake up and start all over!
Last question if you could be anything else other than a fighter what would you do?
I’d like to be a lottery winner and just travel the world:-) I love traveling and my fiance and I do a lot of it. Otherwise, I’m doing it. I work in management for Information Technology and I really love what I do. I’ve been working with technology for over 10 years and it’s a big part of my life. I work for a great company with great bosses and plenty of benefits.