Patience paying off

Chris Horodecki looks more like a freshman at college orientation than a 14-fight mixed martial arts veteran getting ready to make his World Extreme Cagefighting debut.

Like many his age, the baby-faced 22-year-old has struggled to find steady employment.

He rose to stardom in one MMA league that eventually collapsed, then signed with another organization that folded before his first bout.

In between, he suffered from a bulging disk in his neck that cost him about 80 percent of the strength in his right arm.

Now, he hopes he has found a stable home in an established organization.

“My coach and manager told me to just be patient and good things will happen for me, and good things have,” said Horodecki, who will fight Anthony Njokuani on a WEC card Saturday at the Palms.

Horodecki made his debut in the International Fight League at age 18 and became one of the organization’s few stars. When the IFL folded in 2008, he became a 19-year-old free agent with a 12-1 record.

“I tried to get him (at that time), but Affliction outbid me,” WEC general manager Reed Harris said. “We were right there, and right at the end, they offered him an additional incentive and he went with them.”

Horodecki never fought for Affliction. The state of California denied him a license to fight in January because of the disk problem, and soon after the company folded.

In between, Horodecki had one fight on a minor league card in Biloxi, Miss., in June, where he scored a first-round knockout. Other than that, he last fought on an IFL card in April 2008.

Horodecki insists he won’t be rusty.

“This will be like my fourth fight this year,” he said. “I did four camps. I trained right up until the day before the (scheduled) fight in January. I fought in June. I was supposed to fight in August, and they canceled it four days out after a full camp, so it’s like my fourth fight. I’m ready, man.”

His longtime trainer, Shawn Tompkins, agrees, saying rust isn’t a concern and the injury troubles are in the past.

“He’s 100 percent. I wouldn’t let him (fight otherwise) as a coach and like a father-figure to him,” said Tompkins, who has trained Horodecki since age 12.

Horodecki and Tompkins opted for natural treatment of the injury instead of surgery.

Now fully healthy, Horodecki says he is ready to prove he belongs on the big stage.

“I’m real excited,” he said. “It’s that feeling of being in a new home, and you just want to make your mark.”

Contact reporter Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-224-5509.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jones, Nunes win at UFC 232
Amanda Nunes defeats Cyborg in the women's featherweight division and Jon Jones returns to UFC as the light heavyweight champion. Covering the Cage host Heidi Fang and Adam Hill recap the UFC 232 main and co main events.
Las Vegas MMA fighter Joey Ruquet joins Copa Combate tournament
When Combate Americas' Copa Combate tournament takes place on Dec. 7, Las Vegas-based MMA fighter Joey Ruquet will step in for Gaston Reyno and compete for the $100,000 prize money in the 8-man, one night featherweight tournament.
Espino, Chiasson claim UFC contracts with wins at TUF 28 Finale
Juan Espino was crowned as the TUF heavyweight winner when he submitted Justin Frazier at the finale in Las Vegas and Macy Chiasson submitted Pannie Kianzad to become the TUF 28 women's featherweight winner.
Kamaru Usman excited for what's next after TUF 28 win
After taking a win over Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF 28 Finale, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman says he can be ready for anything that comes next or a quick turnaround if it gets him closer to a title shot.
Dana White on what's next for Usman and the flyweight division
UFC president Dana White spoke with media after the TUF 28 Finale to discuss what's next for the flyweight division and the main event winner, UFC welterweight Kamaru Usman.
Dos Anjos and Usman TUF 28 media day
Rafael dos Anjos and Kamaru Usman talk about facing each other at the TUF 28 Finale at a media day leading up to the Nov. 30 contest. Their welterweight bout will serve as the main event.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like