Jesse Kosakowski: ‘I’m trying to be the best mixed martial artist I can be, the best in the world’
It wasn’t long ago when the sport of MMA was unknown to the majority, on the brink of mainstream, and where most fighters specialized in one fighting style. It goes without saying, the sport has evolved since. Today we’re seeing more fighters who have started training the moment they could walk. Many begin competing at a young age and grow into some of the most well-rounded mixed martial artists.
Jesse James Kosakowski is one of those fighters. Inspired by his father and Dragon Ball Z, Kosakowski began training at the age of four. Competing since he was eight, Kosakowski says, “It has been a lifelong journey.”
Jesse shared his thoughts about the next generation of mixed martial artists who have started training and competing at a young age. He believes that although they are a new breed, for some, it actually hurts training so young. Jesse claims, “some get caught up in the hype,” and all of a sudden they hit a certain age where it’s not about the training anymore. However, for others like himself who stay focused, it makes them a problem in combat sports as they grow in experience and age.
“You get someone who’s been throwing a jab since they were a kid, that jab will still be there,” says Kosakowski. “That muscle memory is a dangerous thing. When you have practiced thousands and thousands of times, it’s second nature.”
Fast forward to now, he’s a 22-year-old prospect fighting out of the rising Connecticut scene and he recently made his Bellator debut in February against Rodolfo Rocha. Although he had an impressive win in his most high-profile fight to date, Kosakowski often struggles finding opponents willing to step in the cage with him.
Currently 3-0 as a professional and undefeated as an amateur, Kosakowski is currently campaigning for his next fight. “I’m ready, it could be this month, it could be tomorrow, it doesn’t matter. I’m ready,” says Kosakowski.
Although there is no opponent on his radar at the moment, there is one in particular the Connecticut prospect has called out since 2018. John Gotti III is currently booked, however, Jesse has made it known that he’s always ready to scrap, whenever Gotti wants.
Kosakowski is currently trying to fight for the stacked CES MMA card that will take place in Hartford, Connecticut on March 29. Even though Jesse is hopeful to fight for CES, fighting for Bellator again is not out of the equation.
Jesse was in contact with Bellator after his recent win, however, he turned down the offer. If Jesse were to sign with the promotion today, he would have to fight in the local area to start. Since the promotion doesn’t come to Connecticut often, he may only fight once a year. It goes without saying, it could hurt his career which seems to be taking off more than ever. “I could flex that I’m a Bellator fighter on Instagram,” says Kosakowski. “But at the end of the day, it’s about numbers.”
According to Jesse, people want to see someone with more wins and experience. This is the same mentality the young fighter had when Bellator offered to sign him before turning professional. Jesse wants to rack up some more wins and then negotiate bigger things from there.
“I’m really ready for whatever. If I keep racking up W’s and Contender Series hits me up I’m going to go on there,” says Kosakowsi. “It doesn’t really matter. UFC, Bellator, ONE FC, I don’t care – I’m in it for the same goal, get to the top, get championship titles.”
Although the hype behind the Kosakowski name has increased in recent months, it has been nothing by hard work, dedication, and sacrifice. It’s obvious Jesse doesn’t live a normal life for a 22-year-old. “Being a professional athlete, it’s the same thing whether you’re 30 or 19, you’re doing the same thing,” says Kosakowski. “You’re waking up, going to the gym, getting the grind in doing two or three sessions a day. You also have to take your rest and work on your recovery.”
Jesse is big on taking care of his body in between sessions, and often that leads to sacrificing time with family and friends. “Sometimes it’s not the most fun cause you want to go out, but there are sacrifices,” says Kosakowski.
Even though there’s much he must give up for success, there’s also many rewards. Jesse may not live an average 22-year-old life, but he definitely feels it’s worth it in the pursuit of his dreams.
Ideally, Jesse will fight three more times this year with two month fight camps for each. Although a fight sometime soon may not happen, Jesse remains optimistic about this year and believes 2020 will be even bigger for his career.
“I don’t really look at what my legacy is gonna be. I’m just gonna let it happen,” says Kosakowski. “I’m trying to be the best mixed martial artist I can be, the best in the world. How I get there is how I get there.”
Whether it’s fighting at welterweight, lightweight, or for a 165-pound division, Jesse James Kosakowski is a name you’ll continue to hear about in combat sports. Not only is he humble, he’s young and has the right mindset to be one of the best in the world.
“The goal is to climb up the ranks one-by-one. They’re gonna see.”
Listen to our full interview with Jesse Kosakowski on The Scrap’s official SoundCloud:
Make sure to follow The Scrap News (@thescrapnews) on Twitter.
Follow our writer Joel Torres (@joelisacoolkid).