After Suffering First KO Loss and Losing “Father Figure”, Chris Horodecki Ready to “Start Turning Some Heads”
WEC Vet Preparing With Tristar for SFS Headliner
By Kelsey Mowatt
Anyone who has followed the career of Chris Horodecki, may be alarmed to hear that he’s just 25 years old, considering that the Canadian’s career has already spanned seven years and has included stints in the IFL, the WEC and more recently Bellator. While the majority of the London fighter’s career has been marked by tremendous success, in the past year or so, Horodecki has faced some of his biggest challenges.
After recording a win and a draw in his first two Bellator appearances, Horodecki was knocked out in the first round by Mike Richman back in April. The defeat was not only the first KO loss of Horodecki’s career, but it brought about an end to his Bellator run.
“It was a terrible way to come out because it was my first fight at 145 and I didn’t want it to end up like that,” Horodecki relayed to Full Contact Fighter recently. “I had done everything to prepare; preparation was on point. I left everything I had taken from the gym in there, and it sucked the way it went..You just have to learn from it.”
“I’ve changed a lot of things since that fight,” the noted striker added. “I’ve been training at Tristar the last month, and man, just getting that coaching and that fight breakdown from a guy like Firas Zahabi, that’s a huge change for me.”
While the defeat to Richman was hard to take, it was nothing compared to the loss Horodecki had suffered several months earlier, when his long time friend and trainer Shawn Tompkins passed away suddenly.
“I’ve been through a tough patch this last year,” said Horodecki. ”I don’t want to blame anything, but my coach passing, my friend passing, it’s been a pretty crazy, rocky road of a year. Everyone’s been affected by it, of course, but especially me. Shawn Tompkins was a father figure for me…we were very, very, close.”
“I’m in a good spot right now though,” Horodecki added. “I’m in a good place mentally, physically, and I’m ready to get back on the winning slate and get a win streak going; start turning some heads.”
What Horodecki is preparing for his an upcoming, October 19th card in Sarnia, Ontario, where he will fight fellow Canadian vet Brad Cardinal. The bout will be contested at a catch-weight of 150 pounds.
“I just finished another week of my camp at Tristar and it’s been awesome,” said Horodecki, who also continues to train alongside longtime teammates Mark Hominick and Sam Stout at their Adrenaline Training Centre in London. “Having so many great fighters on the mat, getting that high level of sparring, combined with the coaching of Firas Zahabi who’s a wizard on the mat, and knows the MMA game better than anyone else on the scene right now…every base is covered. That’s what I needed.”
While Cardinal (16-8) may not be a familiar name to mainstream fans in the U.S., the 34 year-old-fighter has been a force in the Canadian MMA scene for sometime now. The Calgary fighter, who trains alongside UFC vet Nick Ring at the city’s Champion’s Creed Gym, has won two straight fights and is 7-3 in his last ten.
“He’s a gamer for sure,” Horodecki noted about Cardinal, who was recently signed to replace scheduled opponent Kalvin Hackney. “He’s fought all over, against tough competition, so I’m excited about this fight. He fought my teammate, Jesse Gross, so I’m very familiar with him.”
“He’s strong on the ground, but he’s a gamer, so he’s not scared of you,” Horodecki added. “If he wants to get in a war with me though he’ll be making a mistake.”