Monday, February 12, 2007

Canadian fighter turning heads

By Neil Davidson

Just 19, Chris Horodecki doesn't look old enough to drive a car let alone kick someone in the head for a living.

But the baby-faced mixed martial arts fighter from London, Ont., has been leaving a trail of bodies in his wake in the International Fight League. The lightweight is 4-0 in the IFL, 8-0 as a pro and was named Breakout Fighter of the Year for 2006 by Full Contact Fighter magazine.

"The whole mixed martial arts world is talking about him right now," said Bas Rutten, the former world champion who coaches him at the IFL's Anacondas. "He's got his looks, he's smart, he's good in interviews. He's got the whole package."

"He's 19 years old and he's tearing it up," added fellow fighter Mark Hominick, a friend and training partner in London.

The five-foot-nine Horodecki (pronounced Horo-deski) is a baby-faced tangle of arms and legs. And when it comes to fighting, he apparently has ice in his veins.

"What makes him special is he is so calm under stress," Rutten said. "For him to go to the store and buy a loaf of bread or go to a fight is exactly the same thing for him . . . he's just unbelievable."

"He is just a handful, that kid," said Hominick. "He's a different breed."

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