Photo by Mike Calimbas
Cody Williams’ third professional MMA fight is not until Dec. 16, so other than training at American Top Team in Beaumont, Williams has stepped up his game and started competing in grappling tournaments.
The Beaumont native who owns a 2-0 record recently competed at the Battle of H-Town Grappling Tournament, which saw over 400 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors in multiple levels.
Williams competed in two divisions — both with a gi — meaning the competitors wear the traditional Japanese training uniform. He won the 139-pound super featherweight gold medal by going 3-0, winning twice by points and once by submission.
The 27 year old then stepped up in class to compete in the Absolute Division, where he grappled with competitors that have more experience and bigger in weight. In one of the matches, Williams found himself down 9-0 in points to an opponent that had a 70-pound weight advantage, but he managed to slip in an arm-bar at the last second to earn a submission win. He finished fourth overall.
“This was my second grappling tournament,” said Williams. “I competed in a No-Gi in April. Cole Miller (UFC fighter) suggested events like these and it can only help raise your game. It keeps you busy and makes you a better fighter in side the cage.”
Williams had no previous experience competing in a gi until two days before the tournament. “I ordered the American Top Team gi and it came in Friday,” said Williams. “So I put it on and coach Tyler Reese and I rolled around on the mat until midnight.”
He also credits coach Don Murphy in the grappling success. Murphy is a 2nd degree black belt in Yoshin Kai Jiu-Jitsu and 5th degree black belt in Mushin Jiu-Jitsu.
“It helps keep you warm for MMA fights,” said American Top Team-Beaumont head trainer Mike Berryhill. “It helps fighters with ground position, sweeps and grips.”