Horodecki hopes tradition will continue

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:31 PM ET

VANCOUVER — Chris Horodecki remembers the days of hopping in the van and heading to Quebec to watch teammate Mark Hominick do battle.

He was 14 and the baby of the Shawn Tompkins fight family — the London Ont. crew that forms English Canada’s most famous team of mixed-martial artists.

Years later, just days after his 18th birthday, he joined Hominick on the card of Montreal’s now defunct TKO fight club.

Both fighters were victorious.

In fact, Horodecki has yet to lose a fight when childhood friend and teammate Hominick’s been on the same card.

He’s hoping that tradition continues when they both take to the cage at World Extreme Cagefighting’s WEC 49 in Edmonton Sunday.

The WEC — owned by the UFC and concentrating on the lighter weight fighters — will make its first foray outside the U.S. at Rexall Place. The main card will be available live on The Score network in Canada and Versus for the rest of North America.

Horodecki and WEC president Reed Harris were in Vancouver for UFC 115 days ahead of the fight club’s Canadian debut.

Now 22, Horodecki says nothing’s changed in the bond he feels with his Team Tomkins mates.

Hominick and Horodecki are part of an inseparable fighting trio of childhood friends that is rounded out by the UFC’s Sam Stout.

Stout’s brother in law, Shawn Tomkins, is the patriarch and now trains a stable of fighters out of Las Vegas. He was once a top trainer for Randy Couture before breaking out to form his own fight team.

Horodecki — who’s 14-2 and is coming off a loss in his WEC debut last December — says he still feels the urge to pinch himself to make sure he’s not dreaming.

“It really is unbelievable,” says Horodecki who will face Ed Ratcliff in a lightweight battle at WEC 49.

“We all started out in a hole in the wall gym. Going out and fighting every weekend. Driving to the States or driving wherever just to fight.”

The youngest of Team Tomkins crew, Horodecki remembers looking on in awe of his older friends — who were of legal fighting age.

“I knew watching my teammates fight that that’s where I wanted to be,” says Horodecki.

He began his career with a bang, going 12-0 and making it to the final of the International Fight League Grand Prix.

He says he looks upon his days at the IFL fondly and remembers training with some of the men he grew up idolizing.

“When I started in the IFL, training with Bas (Rutten), it was surreal,” says Horodecki.

“All these people that I looked up to, Wanderlei Silva and Randy Couture they used to be my idols and now they’re my peers.”

Unable to fight in his native Ontario because the sport is not yet legal, Horodecki says the Edmonton fight will have a special feel for him and his mates.

“It’s going to be great being part of the home team,” says Horodecki, who’s fought in Quebec numerous times, but not for an international fight club.

WEC president Reed Harris says ticket sales for the Edmonton event are going well and he’s been impressed with the level of MMA knowledge and support in the city.

Hominick will take on Yves Jabouin at WEC 49.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca


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