Local Fighter Undefeated
By RHONDA BIGOVICH, Two Rivers Tribune
Orion Cosce was born to be a fighter. The 20-year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter is from Weitchpec but now resides in Eureka where he can more easily pursue his professional career as a fighter.
Cosce is undefeated. He is 4-0 in sanction fights and 2-0 in tournament fights.
“I don’t see myself losing. Not to sound arrogant but, I train hard not to lose,” he said.
At an early age Cosce watched cage fighting on TV, and is confident when he says that one day people will see him on TV as well.
“I will be on TV someday, without a doubt, whether it be on USF or Global Fighting,” said Cosce. “I enjoy MMA fighting because it is a one-on-one sport. You cannot blame others’ mistakes for you losing.”
Cosce wrestled throughout elementary School and high school earning state titles in both freestyle and high school wrestling. He found his true passion in sports and knew whatever career he pursued would be athletic in nature.
Cosce started MMA training with Sam Jones and the Warrior Society. Today Cosce trains with the elite, invitation only, Lost Boys MMA. There are 40-50 members on the Lost Boys team who fight and train in jui jitsu, wrestling and more.
Cosce said he receives top notch training under his instructor Uriah Naimone who recently graduated from Humboldt State University (HSU) with a degree in Kinesiology. Cosce was already training with the Lost Boys MMA before Naimone was brought in to coach.
“One of the first things I heard about him was that he was hard to coach, also that he was a great kid but very confident, and thought he knew everything,” said Naimone. “What I saw in Orion was that he was hungry, and as I began to coach him, we established a bond immediately.”
Naimone trained in Canada with another famous fighter Jon Chambers. Naimone now teaches a combination of techniques of his own. The combination has given Cosce more edge, and more opportunity to improve in ways that he only hoped for.
Cosce works out daily and seldom takes breaks in between fights. He takes his training serious and concentrates on bettering himself all of the time by pushing harder and challenging himself to perform better than the day before.
“Orion is the hardest working guy in the gym. He’s the first guy in and the last guy out,” said Naimone.
Cosce trains in boxing, wrestling, kick boxing and jui jitsu. Although he’s learning a variety of fighting styles he still has a passion for wrestling.
Cosce said he does not look at training as a chore. He never has seen it as hard work, in fact he enjoys competition and the challenges MMA fighting presents.
When he has down time Cosce hangs out with his girlfriend or with family and friends, all of whom are well aware that nothing stands in the way of Orion’s training. Naimone said that Orion doesn’t ever miss a day.
“I have to be dedicated to it. If I lose, I have nobody to blame but myself,” Cosce said.
“I just want to build up my wins and eventually fight in the “King of the Cage” match. It is the biggest amateur fight that found big names like Chuck Liddell and others. You get into these of cage fights by knowing the right people and having quality wins,” Cosce said.
“My strongest competitor to date is myself. Here is why: I have taken all of my fights fairly easily. I train to be efficient. I train hard not to lose. Training comes first and a lot of luxury time is set aside for the overall goal, which is to be the best at what I do and the best I can be,” said Cosce.
Cosce performs stringent cardio exercises to ensure stamina for long distance runs and matches. Naimone training includes strength and cardio-specific techniques that benefit all Lost Boys Fighters.
One day he would like to wrestle in the US Open, a step toward the world trials.
Cosce said, “It is rewarding to hear fans, family and friends cheer me on. I enjoy what they bring to the table. The deafening screams I hear while I fight are amazing.”
He admits to putting himself into a dangerous situation during a match held in Redding. Cosce said the best part of the fight was hearing his fans in the audience. It meant that much more to him because his fans followed him to Redding.
It’s not just the competition that he enjoys. It is the victory.
Cosce wishes people would appreciate the skill MMA fighters exhibit during fight nights, and not look at them as dog fights. He said there is a lot of training and technique in what fighters do.
“You have to fight intelligently; know when to duck from a hit, know when to perform certain moves and techniques. You have to know the ins and outs of the fights,” Cosce said.
“My biggest supporters are my teammates and my coaches. They encourage me and push me to be the best I can be,” Cosce said. “We are all leaders in our own way. We help each other out in all ways possible.”
All the Lost Boys go to one another’s matches when they are available to. They buy tickets just like everybody else and support their family members because they see one another as family. But Cosce hasn’t forgotten who helped get him to the big ring.
“I would like to thank all of the people who supported me and got me here, people like Mike Lee. I started with Hoopa’s wrestling team when I was growing up. Dale Mendes is another one. I would love to be able to go and catch up, but these days practice and training come above everything else,” he said. “I’m trying to live out my dream. But I would like to thank all who have helped me throughout the process.”
Cosce’s biggest challenge is financing his MMA career. Finding money to cover training and equipment has been troublesome. Eating the right kind of food can adds up too.
A healthy lifestyle is imperative to Cosce’s success. He avoids greasy foods and always looks for healthier alternatives. During training time, Cosce eats a lot of chicken and oatmeal, but not together.
There have been a lot of people who have supported me by providing sponsorships. One of the most supportive is Michael Drego and Westside Pizza. Together they have covered much of Cosce’s expenses.
“I look at MMA as a real job, and my other job as a secondary job. I plan to get bigger and better, and to continue to train harder,” he said.
Cosce trained for six months straight before his last match. He even trains every day for unexpected fights and for pure enjoyment.
“I think he will only get better if he continues on with an open mind. We at Lost Boys like to push him to the limits where he learns from all experiences. We match him up in tough fights to condition him for larger matches like ‘King of the Cage’ and ‘Dessert Force.’ These are higher ranked fights,” Naimone said.
Naimone was proud of the skill Cosce exhibited in his most recent fight at the Blue Lake Casino. He was put in front of a tough competitor and he fought calmly. He won in the first round when his opponent tapped out.
If you are interested in helping Cosce he can be contacted on Facebook by searching his name, Orion Cosce.
“People don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan. We plan to build Cosce up slow and smart,” said Naimone. “The more technique acquired, the harder you will be to beat.”