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MMA fighter has hopes to turn pro

By Melissa Schilz, Postmedia Network

Cody Chovancek, a recent graduate of LCCVI in Petrolia, plans to turn pro in a few years as a mixed martial fighter. (Photo by Mark Ruddick)

Cody Chovancek, a recent graduate of LCCVI in Petrolia, plans to turn pro in a few years as a mixed martial fighter. (Photo by Mark Ruddick)

Cody Chovancek has one major goal in mind – make it to the UFC.

And the 19-year-old is already well on his way. An undefeated amateur mixed martial artist with a 4-0 record, he plans to turn pro in a few years.

The recent graduate of LVVCI and Petrolia native, said he works to be a defensive fighter. He trains six days a week, heavy on cardio, sparring and technique. He also follows a strict diet to stay lean.

So far in his fighting career, he’s managed to avoid any serious injuries, a common occurrence in such a high contact sport with little to no protection. He credits his fighting technique for staying healthy and unharmed.

“I want to be a smart fighter… I’m very defensive, but also offensive when I have to be,” Chovancek said. “I’ve been temporarily injured, after my fight I will be sore. It usually heals right away… I haven’t had any serious injuries luckily.”

He most recently competed in Sarnia in December, taking his amateur kickboxing record to 2-0 and going home with a championship belt. And he’s preparing for another fight in February at the London Music Hall.

Last year Chovancek traveled to Phuket, Thailand, where he trained at Tiger Muay Thai, one of the most elite training facilities in the world. Several UFC fighters have passed through its doors in recent years.

While there, Chovancek had the opportunity to face off with other MMA fighters from all over the world. He said the coaches on site are the best of the best, sought out from every corner of the planet.

Chovancek said mixed martial arts was really the first sport he fell in love with. He can recall watching Bruce Lee and Jean-Claude Van Damme films as a child. Being half Thai, he said kickboxing in Thailand is the equivalent of hockey in Canada.

“It’s huge there… it’s their international sport,” he said. “I was always really interested in it, and seeing what my roots were.”

Chovancek started wrestling during his time at LCCVI, and for the last four years has been practicing MMA. He trains with several clubs in the county and beyond, including Purebred Fight Club, Team Supreme, Corunna Training Academy, and Adrenaline in London. He’s also sponsored by Martial Law Clothing, Mark Ruddick Photography and Elite Roofing.

“To me, it’s the purest form of competition, it’s one on one, there’s not anyone else involved and if I mess up, it’s my fault,” he said.

He said he’ll be continuing to train hard so he can go professional when he’s a bit older; his coaches Andrew Elliott and Woodrow James are keeping their eyes open for when the time is right. Chovancek said he wants to represent the Lambton area and make his hometown proud.

“I want to be at my physical peak almost, so I’m not too young when I get in there,” he said. “I want to be experienced and ready for it.”

Chovancek will next be competing at the Marconi Club in London on Feb. 16. You can follow his MMA journey on Instagram @cody_chovancek.