Cody Williams, Beaumont’s only professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter, has recently announced his second pro fight will come Friday, Sept. 16 against Nate Garza at Legacy Fighting Championships the Arena Theatre in Houston. A portion of the card will be shown live on HDNet.
Williams, 1-0, won his professional career debut on April 23 by defeating Gerzan Chaw via rear-naked choke submission in the third round at IXFA Extreme Fighting.
“Legacy is an established organization so I am honored to be able to fight on the card,” said Williams, who will fight at 135 pounds.
Garza, 3-3, is from Willis and has been training under pro fighter Rocky Long for the last four years and has lost his last two fights. Garza lost by split decision to Chaw, who Williams defeated in his debut, last November then was beaten by unanimous decision by an undefeated Angel Huerta (4-0) at Legacy FC in April.
Long has 47 pro fights on his resume and has been training for 15 years. “Nate has a lot of heart and has no quit in him,” said Long. “We don’t know much about Cody right now but we train for everything and Nate will be ready.”
Willliams’ trainer, Mike Berryhill of American Top Team-Beaumont, said they learn something from every fight but the training regimen will be the same.
“I think learning and getting better than the last performance is key,” said Berryhill. “That includes all aspects of the fight game — from the coaches corner to weighing in before fights. We try to make the fighter as comfortable and stress-free as you can. Of course the drills and the rounds get longer and we focus more on weaknesses than strengths. It’s about getting better and getting stronger each time you step in the cage. No fight is the same so we prepare for everything.”
Williams added about training, “all the plyometrics and explosive workouts will carryover from the first camp in my first fight and will do so throughout my fight career. I did more research and Terry Fuller at Terry’s Fitness helped me double my knowledge on different training aspects.”
The Beaumont fighter will be fighting somewhat out of a comfort zone, so to speak — from a bigger established organization with a bigger crowd and television cameras will also be rolling.
“After workouts when I go through meditation, I try to see myself in the arena and try to get a feel of what the crowd will be like,” said Williams. “You try to take all the outside elements out of it so when you do step into the cage, you can focus on the fighting. Combating nerves comes through preparation.”
Williams added he learned a lot when current UFC fighter and ATT teammate Cole Miller came to Beaumont last December to be in his corner for his final amateur fight.
“With Cole Miller, one thing he talked about was nerves,” said Williams. “You learn by experience and he said that getting nervous before a fight doesn’t help you, so you mentally have to be tough enough to overcome that and just execute your game plan.”
Williams also said he doesn’t know much about Garza, other than the fact he has gone the distance in many fights. “He is 5-foot-6, so that is basically the same height as me so that’s a good thing,” said Williams. “At even height, it makes it a little easier on striking. He comes from a boxing camp and trains under Rocky Long, who is a well-respected trainer and fighter. Garza has six pro fights under his belt so he’ll be ready.”