After a long eight-week training camp, homegrown talent and Beaumont’s only professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter Cody Williams will step into the octagon this Friday, Sept. 16 to compete in Legacy Fighting Championship 8 at the Arena Theatre in Houston.
Williams, 27, will look to improve his 1-0 record when his fights Nate Garza (3-4) of Houston at the 135-pound bantamweight class. This is one of 11 undercard fights that will headline the main event, which is veteran Pete Spratt (23-20) vs. Jorge Patino (20-13-1). Several of the fights will be shown live on HDNet. Tickets are available for purchase at arenahouston.com for $107.50-$32.50. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the undercard begins at 7 p.m.
Williams made his professional debut on April 23 as he defeated Gerzan Chaw via 3rd round submission (rear-naked choke) at an IXFA event at Nutty Jerry’s.
“Each camp, I add things that will help me in the cage,” said Williams, who trains at American Top Team-Beaumont led by Mike Berryhill. “I did a ton of plyometrics, more explosive leg workouts, along with speed and power drills. I wanted to be more explosive and quicker.”
Berryhill explained that training for this fight began eight weeks ago and wanted the camp to be more detailed and one goal was to get Williams stronger. “We accomplished that,” said Berryhill. “Another big factor has been his recovery time, meaning after workouts he’s been getting massages and doing ice baths so he’s been able to train even harder, which helps build his cardio. We also did extra one-on-one time during his lunch break for specific drills.”
Williams said he also watched old tapes of Mike Tyson boxing matches to examine his footwork and head movement. “I wanted to work on being more evasive in the cage,” said Williams. “He was great with those skills and if I can implement any of that into my game then I will be that much better. I’ve learned something from every camp and every fight.” And Berryhill agrees.
“I think Cody is smarter and his footwork is a lot better,” he said. “His speed is great so are his kicks. One big improvement over his last camp has been his reaction time. All in all it’s been a great camp.”
Williams will be stepping up as Legacy FC is a well-established pro MMA organization in Texas and most of their fights are shown on HDNet. Aside from his physical training, Williams has learned to meditate and prepare himself for the bigger stage.
“I do different meditation, but I’m not talking about sitting around a campfire,” he laughed. “I like to take Epsom salt baths and listen to relaxing music. I replay in my head what I did that day in class. I visualize going through fight day — in the lockerroom getting my hands wrapped, walking to the cage. So mentally I put myself inside the arena before I am actually doing it. When I turned pro, I started adding the mental aspect of being a fighter during training camp. If you can be more mentally prepared than your opponent, that’s half the battle.”
Another component of training camp is the diet game. Williams has to cut pounds to make 135 pounds. “My typical diet begins about six weeks and I cut out all red meat,” he said. “Every morning, I’ll do a table spoon of pure organic flaxseed and drink 12 ounces of orange juice. There are lots of green vegetables I eat and plenty of almonds. It’s really complex.”
Williams’ opponent has a record of 3-4 and Garza last fought on April 9 when he lost to undefeated Angel Huerta (4-0) by decision Legacy Fighting Championship 6.
“We’ve been able to get a scouting report and view some video but you take previous fight videos with a grain of salt,” said Williams. “You can see some tendencies the fighter has but he may have changed his entire game plan and fight a different style. I concentrate more on what I want to accomplish, and whatever he’s doing to keep me from accomplishing, that is when you adjust.”
Garza does have more experience in the cage with seven pro fights, but five of his seven have gone the distance. The one common opponent between Garza and Williams is Chaw, who Garza lost to in a split decision last November.
After witnessing four of Williams’ amateur fights and his pro debut, Garza should be prepared for a war.
Legacy FC