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  • Josh Koser is November’s Martial Artist of the Month


    When Josh came back to Straight Blast Gym pushing the scales near 180 pounds, and wanting to fight 8 weeks later at 137 pounds, we knew we had our work cut out for us.


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    Josh Koser is a veteran of the amateur mixed martial arts scene in Atlanta. Having fought 11 times in the cage, he is a crafty veteran who has earned the respect of those in the MMA scene with his never-back-down attitude and willingness to scrap with anyone that is put in front of him. “The Dozer” earned his nick-name by constantly applying forward pressure to his opponents with his relentless pace and heavy hands.

    In 2016, Josh decided to take some time off from MMA. With a new bride and a new job, Josh found it harder and harder to consistently get in the gym. He was still able to show up on occasion to get in some work and help his teammates prepare for competition, but it was not the usual training regimen we were used to seeing from The Dozer.

    In the summer of 2017, Josh returned to SBG Buford full-time, committed to getting back in the cage by the end of the year. In his absence, his normal day-to-day body weight of 160 pounds had gotten closer to 180 pounds. None-the-less, Josh was determined to get back in the thick of things. Coach Jim remembers when Josh first came back:


    “Josh was looking super sized…dad-bod deluxe, lol. I was definitely skeptical at his goal of getting back into the cage so fast. The man was trying to drop about 40 pounds in 2 months. Even for the most dedicated, that is a really tall task.”

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    Not one to shy from a challenge, Josh accepted an MMA fight at 137 pounds that would allow him 7 weeks to prepare..which included dropping the afore-mentioned 40 pounds. Josh wasted no time, training 6 days a week in MMA, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Muay Thai; often 2-3 hours per session. This was after working an 8-10 hour day, outside. The old Dozer was a hard worker. But his Dozer…he was a different animal. Head MMA coach Phillipe Gentry recalls Josh’s fight camp:


    “It was one of the best fight camps I’ve ever seen. Not only was Josh busting his ass in the gym but he was sticking to his diet the entire time. Every single week his skill level went up while his weight went down. He was so coachable, doing anything I asked. I already had admiration for the Dozer but this took it to a new level.”


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    On the night of the fight, Josh looked great. He was moving fluidly, his cardio was good, and in typical Dozer style, he was moving forward just about the whole time. It was a back-and-forth tilt, with both men landing good shots. Josh’s opponent was game, having fought many times while Josh was on his hiatus. Regardless, Josh scored points with his relentless pressure and improved boxing skills. When the scorecards were read, Josh lost a razor-thin split decision that could have gone either way. While the scorecards may not have gone the way Josh wanted, his coaches and teammates were in awe of how far he had come and how well he’d performed after taking an entire year off from hard-training.

    Kudos to you Josh “The Dozer” Koser. Your work rate and dedication to your sport are second-to-none, and it was truly inspirational to watch you get back in the gym and prepare for the big stage. Keep up the awesome work Dozer!

    Jim Sheppard

    is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.