Horodecki has youth in his corner in MMA

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:46 PM ET

The baby-face jokes are something London’s Chris Horodecki has had to put up with since he began his mixed martial arts career. It’s a favourite topic in online comments.

“How come his face never caught up with his body?”

“When he reaches puberty, he’s going to be a monster.”

“His body has aged normally, but his face stopped at 14.”

And so it goes.

Usually the face reflects the violence of the sport.

Not for Horodecki, not even after19 fights.

On Saturday, he takes his 16-3 record into the first official MMA card in Ontario.

The former IFL and WEC lightweight faces David Castillo (9-2) at Casino Rama in Orillia.

Horodecki, part of Team Tompkins, has gone through a difficult few years with injuries and having lost two bouts in the WEC.

As a result, he was cut from the roster late last year.

“Because he looks so young, we forget that he’s 22 years old,” said his coach Shawn Tompkins.

“Twenty-three,” Horodecki interjected.

“See what I mean?” Tompkins said. “He’s had a lot of fights but he’s got a lot of time before he reaches his prime. He has talent.”

Tompkins believes Horodecki will work his way back to a top contender in his weight class.

“It’s the way it is these days,” Tompkins said of the quick trigger finger fight organizations display. “Come on. He’s lost three fights. Three.”

In his last, Horodecki lost by submission to Donald Cerrone at WEC 53, the organization’s final event before it was gobbled up by the UFC.

“One door closes and another one opens,” Horodecki said after hearing the news. “I’ll be back sooner than later.”

He’s back already.

Horodecki is one of Tompkins’ Big 3 in Canadian talent. Mark Hominick is going to battle for the UFC featherweight title in Toronto at UFC 129 and Sam Stout will look to get closer to a UFC lightweight title shot with a bout at UFC 131 in Vancouver.

Horodecki spent the last six weeks in Las Vegas at Tapout, where Tompkins works with his pros.

While UFC 129 in Toronto is getting a lot of attention because of its size, Saturday’s Orillia card is the first in Ontario.

“I’m very excited,” Horodecki said. “It’s the homecoming of the sport and I’m very fortunate to be part of it, to be the headliner of the card. Coming off my last fight, it didn’t go the way I wanted to. But I want to set the record straight. I want to come back and get a decisive win in my own backyard.”

Watching Horodecki work out is like watching the battery bunny that keeps on pounding the drum. Horodecki is known as the Polish Hammer. In the gym, he never stops pounding.

“Oh man, just like any fight, I take my job very, very seriously. I’m in the gym every day grinding away. Shawn and I have the game plan, we’re putting in the work, sharpening stuff.”

Training in Las Vegas and living at Tompkins’ home has really prepared him for this fight.

“We have a great, great base at the Adrenaline Training Centre (in London) but it’s always good to get fresh looks, different styles, different bodies to work with that expand your training horizon,” Horodecki said.

His horizon isn’t very far away. It’s in Orillia.

And even his baby face can’t hide the importance of winning this fight.


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