Photo by Mike Calimbas
Beaumont has a storied past with musicians and athletes such as Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Clay Walker, Mark Chesnutt, Tracy Byrd, Kendrick Perkins, Bubba Smith, Frank Robinson, Jerry Ball, Jay Bruce, Bruce Lietzke and “The Big Bopper” J.P. Richardson.
As far as the fighting world, James “Bubba” Busceme helped put boxing on the map in Beaumont when he fought Alexis Arguello for the world title in 1982 at the Beaumont Civic Center.
While the UFC has been around since 1993, it wasn’t until recently that a surge in popularity has made Mixed Martial Arts an everyday conversation piece and with that said, Cody Williams is looking to put Beaumont on the MMA map come Friday, Dec. 16.
Williams, who is Beaumont’s only professional MMA competitor, will fight his third pro fight of the year when he tangles with Steven Garcia in the 135-pound weight division (three-5 minute rounds) at Legacy Fighting Championship 9 in Houston at the Arena Theatre.
There will be six fights shown live on HDNet beginning at 9 p.m. and Williams is slated bout No. 4 for television.
“I’m ready,” said Williams, who is 2-0 in the pro ranks. “I cannot wait to get into the cage. I’ve had another great camp and now I’m ready to bring it.”
The 27-year-old West Brook graduate will likely face his toughest opponent to date as Garcia has 12 professional fight experiences with an overall record of 7-5. He’s lost his last two fights and the last coming Sept. 16 via tapout by a guillotine choke from Steven Patterson (6-1). That fight was on the same card as Willliams’ first round KO of Nate Garza.
Five of Garcia’s fights have gone this distance, so there should be plenty of gas in the tank. “He’s a tough fighter and has something to prove after those two losses,” said Williams.
Mike Berryhill, who is the head trainer at American Top Team-Beaumont, says Williams has overcome some mental blocks during this camp. “He has had a few challenges this camp but has done a real good job focusing, so mentally I think he is more prepared,” said Berryhill. “On the physical side, we’ve worked a lot of angles this camp. Plus his diet has been much better.”
Berryhill spoke briefly about Williams’ opponent and said that Garcia trains at a respected gym, 4oz Fight Club of Houston. “It’s a very good gym,” said Berryhill. “They have a good roster, which includes Daniel Pineda, who has fought in Bellator and holds a Legacy title so Garcia gets to train with some good fighters.”
I’ve never seen Garcia fight in person, only video. Of course, I am a tad bias when it comes to Williams. I’ve seen the “Wolverine” fight numerous times and sat through several camps as he prepares for battle. Unless it’s something freakish, which happens, I don’t see Williams losing.
If you want to see the fights, a few tickets remain for $107.50-$32.50 and can be purchased online at arenahouston.com.