Longview’s Josh Foster may not be the most outspoken extrovert to lace up a pair of gloves but when the hulking 6’3” middleweight fighter speaks you listen. Of course, if you’ve ever caught a Josh Foster fight you realize why the humble man from East Texas deserves such respect as each victory on his 6-3 ledger was won by way of stoppage or submission. It’s because of this that Foster has rapidly become a fan favorite here in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. After all, Foster and his team aren’t traveling west on I-20 to lose.
Foster’s path to prize fighting was born of some youthful transgressions that saw his energy being steered in the wrong direction.
“I just had a rough past and I wasn’t making good choices,” explains Foster. “I met [JC Cox] and he kind of got me going in the right direction and taught me how to focus my anger into a good sort of energy and it just really worked out in my favor. I realized I had the potential to make a living out of it, and it’s something I like to do, so I kept on and I’m here where I’m at.”
JC Cox and his Team Jorge Gurgel Texas have quickly become one of Texas most inspiring gyms with both pro fighters and talented grapplers coming out of the Longview region. Back by such an impressive fight team it is no surprise that Foster has quickly established himself as one of Texas most dangerous fighters.
Perhaps nothing illustrates this point better than Foster’s upset victory of the highly-touted JJ Holmes at XKO 13 this past December. Foster weathered a beating at the hands of Holmes early on to rally back and put the noted grappler to sleep with a triangle in the second round. The victory caused everyone in the XKO Arena to go absolutely ape shit but for Foster it was just another day at the office.
“He did a pretty good job at first,” jokes Foster on his opening round against Holmes. “I just caught him in a triangle. But, yeah, he’s good. I don’t have nothing bad to say about him.”
Foster is nothing but complementary when it comes to Holmes, and every fighter for that matter, but he does scoff at those who said his grappling skills were not on the level of Holmes.
“I thought for sure mine was going to be better,” explains Foster of his grappling acumen. “I also fought Charles Hayward and beat him with a knee bar, and he’s supposed to be a ground guy. So, I’ve gone against some well know jitz guys in Dallas and I’ve done well. I’m just as good on the ground as I am standing up. I love to be on the ground but if I can I want to be standing up. It’s more exciting standing up.”
Foster will get a chance to once again showcase his talents here in North Texas as he will enter the cage against Matt Jones at XKO 15 this Saturday night. However, based on his string of victories in the cage finding an opponent is becoming increasingly difficult for Foster and his team.
“Yeah, I think we went through like 10 fighters before we finally got this fight,” explains Foster. “It’s been pretty tough.”
Fortunately for fight fans, Matt Jones stepped up to enter the cage and Foster seems excited about his XKO matchup.
“Yeah, he’s primarily a boxer but I did hear that he is a blue belt on the ground,” explains Foster. “You have to respect all fighters because you don’t know where they’re training. His blue belt may be as good as some people’s purple or brown belts, who knows.”
One thing that fans familiar with Foster and Team Gurgel Texas do know is that when East Texas fighters fight, their friends, family, and fans are sure to travel as well. Few fighters can boast the same level of vocal, die-hard supporters that Foster enjoys. Foster even admits that such fanfare provides an increased level of motivation in the cage.
“I don’t want my family and friends to drive that far and not see me win,” Foster explains. “It does kind of play a factor in how I perform. If we were to fight somewhere around here I’m sure I could sell out the show because I know a lot of people. With them there it helps me get focused and motivated and gives me that determination that I don’t want to lose.”
“My coach JC Cox, my teammates, and my girlfriend, my kids and just everyone who has been there for me and helps me stay focused to do what I’ve got to do.”
Backed by a throng of fans and a fight team that is quickly making a name for itself by way of its hard-nosed fighters, it’s little wonder as to why Foster has been climbing the ranks in a pretty rapid pace. To hear Foster explain it, it’s all a bit surreal.
“I would have never thought I would be where I’m at now,” said Foster. “I’ll be glad when I can get to a situation where I can train full time like some of these fighters. I think once I make that step, the sky’s the limit for me and there is no telling where I’ll go.”