Cody Williams has lost the last two times he has fought on nationally televised Legacy Fighting Championship cards. The Beaumont native looks to improve on his 4-2 professional record when he tangles with fellow Texan Steve “Ocho” Peterson on Friday night, Sept. 14, at LFC 15 in Houston at the Arena Theatre. Williams’ fight will be televised on AXS TV (formerly known as HDNet) beginning at 9 p.m.
Williams was originally slated to face Alan Nascimento, but the Brazilian was injured during training, so hence the change. The fight will now be at a catchweight of 140 pounds.
“The change kind of played into my favor,” said Williams. “He’s the same type of fighter than my original opponent with (the) same build. His Jiu Jitsu work is good, and has OK standup. Alan was a black belt in Jiu Jitsu from Brazil, so that carries some clout. Peterson is ‘rumored’ to be a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu. I’m not saying by any means this is an easier opponent, but it’s not two completely different styles.”
Williams is coming off a quick first-round KO victory over Todd Matarona on July 7 to win the IXFA bantamweight title (135 pounds). This will be his first pro fight at 140.
“My body feels unbelievably strong,” said Williams. “I like the idea of fighting at 140 pounds. It’s not that fact I get to gain the weight, but I don’t have to spend two and half weeks of cutting off five pounds of muscle. Your body fights itself when you try to get rid of muscles and it takes a toll on the immune system, among other things. It’s just a tough process, and I’m not having to go through that this time. When I walk into the cage the day after weigh-ins, I’ll probably be 155 pounds.”
Peterson, 22, and from McKinney (near Dallas), is 7-2 and has won five of his last six fights including a defeat of Matt Hobar at Legacy 13 on Aug. 17 with a first round TKO. Hobar’s arm broke in the first round in a freak occurrence and he hit the ground in excruciating pain. Peterson then mocked Hobar with a “crybaby expression,” which was frowned upon by the crowd.
“I’ve read some interviews and he’s taken the bad guy approach,” said Williams. “I welcome that. If he wants to be the bad guy, he needs to fight like the bad guy. I am going to fight like your worst enemy. They can put the devil across the cage from me, and it wouldn’t matter. Honestly, I think he is scared. Psychology tells you that. It’s your first reaction when you do something you’re not. I knew eventually our paths would cross, but I am very excited about this fight.”
Despite that his two losses were on television, there’s no added pressure for this upcoming televised bout, Williams says.
“I know what it feels like to lose, and I don’t want to experience that again,” he said. “My two professional losses have both been televised national and maybe there was some pressure there to perform outside of the box. This is a great opportunity and best matchup for me. ”
Texas Rage in the Cage
MMA fans who want to get up close and personal with the action can do so this Saturday, Sept. 15 at Texas Rage in the Cage 15 at the Beaumont Civic Center at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster locations for $40, $30 or $25.
Ten amateur cage fights are scheduled and more than half will see local boys in action including the main event, which pits Port Arthur native Joel Scott (4-1) vs. David Salazar (1-1) for the vacant featherweight (145-pound) title. Salazar, of Mission, is a last minute replacement for the injured Johnny Rodriguez.
Also on the card is Will Spidle (3-1) of Beaumont vs. Aaron Gomez (2-2). “Will is coming off his first loss, but we got a lot of positives out of that loss,” said American Top Team-Beaumont trainer Mike Berryhill. “Will has put on muscle, gotten stronger and increased his cardio.”
Also fighting from ATT-Beaumont will be Jeffrey Stockdale (0-0) vs. Rene Aguirre (0-0), and Martin Walker (2-6) vs. Jerry Stuart.
Stockdale, a graduate of West Brook, will step into the cage for the first time. “Jeffrey is a Marine,” said Berryhill. “He comes in every day by showing up early and leaving late. He has a good wrestling background, so we have been working his standup and Jiu Jitsu. He has been through a lot in his life, and he wants to make a positive statement.”
Walker will once again fight a new opponent on short notice. His last few scheduled fights were replacement fighters due to his original opponent being injured or failing to make weight.
“Martin is a pure fighter,” added Berryhill. “He’s done several grappling tournaments to improve different aspects of the fight game. He’s super competitive, has a great mentality and strives to be better.”
Jason Ebarb’s Texas Punishment Crew, which trains Scott, will also be represented on the card.
Jake Loiacano (1-0) of Hamshire plans to remain undefeated when he steps into the cage against Diego Gutierrez (1-0) of Mission at 185 pounds.
Former Little Cypress-Mauriceville graduate Jonathan Wheeler (2-1) will take on Joel Pena (1-1) of McAllen.
Also on the card is “Bad” Chad Coggins of Buna. Coggins, who trains at Gladiator Pit, will take on newcomer Juan Gonzales of McAllen.