Horodecki looks to start 2008 with a bang

Chris Horodecki, right, squaring off with Josh Odom at an IFL show Mar. 17, 2007 (IFL photo)

Chris Horodecki, right, squaring off with Josh Odom at an IFL show Mar. 17, 2007 (IFL photo)

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 1:57 PM ET

London, Ontario native and International Fight League (IFL) mixed martial artist Chris Horodecki was riding a wave of momentum into the final stretch of 2007. Undefeated in his professional career and with four wins already that year, many were expecting him to be crowned the company's first lightweight champion at the IFL World Grand Prix Finals in December.

In what is considered a big upset, Horodecki was defeated by Ryan Schultz after a series of nasty strikes on the ground.

2008 is after all a brand new year, and following some time off to refocus, Horodecki is looking to return to his winning ways. First on his hit-list is IFL newcomer Nate Lamotte on Fri., April 4 at IFL New Blood New Battles.

He took the time to speak with SLAM! Sports about his career and the state of MMA.

Q: What do you know about Nate Lamotte?

A: He's taking a step up in competition -- he's a local guy from the New York area -- he's trying to propel his career and I'm not going to let him do that. It's going to be a tough battle for him. I've seen him fight; he's a scrapper and he's definitely not going to lay down.

What have you been doing to get ready for him?

I know he's a wrestler so he's going to look to take me down -- it's no secret. Not a lot of fighters are going to want to play the stand-up game with myself or some of the other guys from my camp.

He'll try to take me down, get on top and earn the win, but I'm ready for that. I will have a little something to say about it.

With this being his first IFL fight, are you looking to make an example of him?

No, a fight's a fight, regardless of where it's held, how many rounds there are or if it's for the belt. At the end of the day, it's one man's will against another.

That's the whole game and I enjoy doing this. I prepare for every opponent with intensity and it shows come fight night.

You're coming off your first career loss to Ryan Schultz. What have you been doing differently since then?

I had to take a little step back and refocus. After that fight, my body was tired. Because of the grand prix, I had two hard fights and intense training camps back to back. It took a toll on my body.

So I went home to rejuvenate myself and then came back to the grind. I've been working on my wrestling a lot with Randy (Couture) and it's all going to show in this fight.

How long have you been training with Xtreme Couture?

Ever since they opened; they've been around for a year.

How has this affected your game?

It's a real confidence booster to see the level of competition in the same room. You know in the back for your mind that you're training with the world's best in all sorts of different disciplines, as well as MMA. Steel sharpens steel and that's the motto we go by here.

Assuming you get past Lamotte, what's next?

I just want to get back on the winning track. I had such a great run up until the end of last year. So I look to start off this year with a bang.

If I fight for the belt, I fight for the belt. If not, that's fine. I'm patient and I'll keep putting on exciting fights.

Are you looking for another match with Schultz?

Of course. We'll see how everything works out, but I can't think past my next fight.

Where do you rank the IFL in the world of MMA?

I definitely see them being up there in the chase. In terms of competition, our fighters are as good as any.

What's your reaction to some of the nasty comments Dana White has said about the IFL?

At the end of the day, he's a business man. The way I see it, there's enough pie for everyone to have a piece. You look at the UFC and they're being a little selfish ... they don't really want to give anyone a piece.

Just take a look at how they're suing Randy Couture. They don't want him to branch out and use his name for anything else.

He was pulled from a recent IFL show.

Exactly. They can't even use his name if he's cornering one of his fighters. It's ridiculous. I think it's selfish.

Who at 155 lbs. would you like to face in the future?

I'm not really into calling people out. I look at one fight at a time and I love what I do.

So you don't look at a fighter and say, "He'd be an interesting challenge for me?"

Not really. Anyone with a good stand-up game is going to make a recipe for an exciting fight. If someone's willing to trade, it's going to be an exciting fight.

One last thing, what's your prediction for the upcoming fight between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra?

I'm a huge Georges St. Pierre fan. Inside and outside of the ring, he's such a respectable person. Fortunately, I'll be there for the show. My training partner Sam Stout is also on the card.

I do predict Georges St. Pierre to come out on top and get his belt back. But if anyone deserves a championship, it's Matt Serra. He's had an up and down career, but he's always a scrapper and really likable guy.

But I do see Georges St. Pierre coming out on top.


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