Cody Williams says this upcoming fight with Thomas de Almeida is not about redemption. Despite a winning pro record in the MMA cage at 4-3, Williams is 0-3 when he fights on television — which he will do again this Friday, Nov. 16, at Legacy 14 on AXS TV at 9 p.m. inside the Arena Theatre in Houston.
Williams, 28, of Beaumont last fought Sept. 14, losing to Steven Peterson (8-2) via Omoplata submission in Round 2. Williams dominated the fight up until that point, as he did in his losses to Ryan Benoit and Steve Garcia.
“In all my fights, I was winning,” said Williams. “With Peterson, I went back and watched the fight. I had it won multiple times, and it was very frustrating. It was tough to digest. I give (Peterson) credit, he took a ton of punches, but I need to learn to become patient in the moment. I’m always on the offensive looking for the moment, so I need to learn to sit back.”
Williams trains at American Top Team in Beaumont and explained he worked on patience in camp. “It’s a mindset,” he said, “but you learn during live sparring sessions. You set up angles and attacks.”
Brazilian born Almeida is undefeated at 6-0 and trains at Macaco Gold Team in Houston under the tutelage of veteran fighter Jorge Patino. Macaco currently has two fighters in the UFC, Charles Oliveira and Felipe Arantes.
“Almeida is going to be very patient,” said Williams. “It’s a waiting game for him. I think he has subpar wrestling and I’ll be able to overpower him, but expect some slick jiu-jitsu moves.”
Though Almeida is undefeated, his opponent’s combined record is 6-15, and he’s fought several fighters who were making their debuts. But Williams is concentrating on himself.
“There’s no added pressure because I haven’t won on television,” said Williams. “There are only so many opportunities you get, but I plan on capitalizing this time.”
Also on the Legacy 14 card is Williams’ teammate and fellow Beaumont native Will Spidle. The 23-year-old graduate of West Brook will make his pro debut after a promising amateur career and will fight Ryan Hollis (1-1) at the 125-pound weight class.
“Will is ready to take the next step,” said American Top Team-Beaumont’s head trainer Mike Berryhill. “He’s gained strength in several different areas including his ground-game position, standup, and worked a lot on cardio by swimming and getting in a lot of rounds with different fighters. He finished his ammy career at 7-1 with a title. He’s ready.”
Williams echoes those statements about his teammate and friend: “I helped him get involved with this sport, and it’s been gratifying to see him progress. He’s fired up about this. We’ve been working a ton of ground work with him and I’m predicting a second-round TKO for him.”