Article Compiled with Assistance from Jeremy Lambert

Renowned trainer Dave Camarillo will be in Las Vegas this weekend to take in the sights and sounds of UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit first-hand while providing support for American Kickboxing Academy fighter Josh Koscheck, also scheduled for action at Saturday night’s event. However, the appearance will be among the last of his career after amicably parting ways with AKA to focus on his own school, Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu Family Martial Arts and Fitness.

While it’s certainly a change from the more-glamorous grind of preparing Mixed Martial Artists for competition at the highest level, it’s one Camarillo welcomed with open arms after coming to grips with his diminished passion for coaching MMA. Camarillo took some time out of his schedule to talk with Five Ounces of Pain where he explained the decision to alter career paths despite his success at AKA and also offered up some insight on the UFC 143 headliner between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit.

“You try to be everyone and to be honest I wasn’t giving the fighters and students what they needed because I couldn’t be two places at once,” explained Camarillo. “When I first came to AKA I was actually going to fight. I was a talented guy who studied martial arts early and I was fast and athletic and knew what I was doing, so there was some promise for me early on to fight but then I sat myself down and said, “I don’t want to fight. It’s not 100% in me.” I’m 0 or 100. That’s just my personality. If I have any doubts, I’m going to do something else, and so I decided to coach. And MMA coaching wasn’t 100% anymore in my mind.”

“It came back to being 5 or 6 with my dad and training judo and bowing in everyday and that’s what I want to do,” Camarillo replied, his genuine investment in the cause coming through. “That’s what’s most important to me. Changing lives like my life was changed through martial arts, there’s no better gift. So that 50 or 60%, I had to switch it. So now I’m 100% into my academy and my career. The focus is my gym and providing for my family and my students.”

While Camarillo’s primary attention is now on the next generation of martial artists he does still have personal ties to a few of his former students and current friends, one of whom is of course Koscheck.

“I will be in Josh Koscheck’s corner this weekend and I’ll finish out his and Jon Fitch’s career but I think that’s it,” said Camarillo of his future work with UFC athletes. “These guys are always open to come train with me but at this point, it’s on my terms because of my decision. You make the decision and stick with it. I’m working harder but my life is easier because I’m into it. You can’t lie to yourself and now that passion is back. “

As far as the main event determining both a top contender and a potential opponent down the road for Fitch or Koscheck, Camarillo sees the bout as being closely matched with either man at risk of defeat without a near-perfect performance.

“Carlos Condit is tough, long, and good everywhere. He’s no joke. Good jiu-jitsu, stand up is strong, and he’s not a bad wrestler,” evaluated Camarillo before turning to the fight’s favorite. “Nick Diaz is probably the best striker in the division and I think he’s the gutsiest as well. I think he’s just as well-rounded as Condit. Unless Diaz comes in aggressive and gets caught early on, I think he’s going to pressure him like he does everyone and give Condit that pressure that he just can’t handle.”

Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu has two locations in California with eyes on expansion in the future. Koscheck’s fight with Mike Pierce is set for the PPV portion of the event with the show starting at 7:00 PM EST on Facebook/FX before the featured fights begin at 10:00 PM EST.