MM-Eh: Horodecki Up for Grabs

By Andy Cotterill Aug 5, 2008
It appears that a feeding frenzy has begun to circle around 20-year-old wunderkind Chris Horodecki (Pictures) now that he has officially become a free agent.

Jeff Clark (Pictures), one half of Horodecki’s North County Fight Club management team, says his client was released from his International Fight League contract last week at the fighter’s request, clearing a path for prospective promoters to voice their interest in the young striker.

Among the suitors for the baby-faced Horodecki (12-1) -- who piled up seven victories in the promotion before meeting a brick wall named Ryan Shultz in their rematch at the World Grand Prix finals in December 2007 -- the WEC, Affliction and the Kentucky-based American Fight League have all thrown proverbial hats in the ring.

“The AFL has come in with a very generous offer,” says Clark, “but Affliction has said they will match it or beat it.”

According to Clark, Affliction would like to book Horodecki in a lightweight bout for its Oct. 11 sophomore event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, while the AFL’s next event will likely take place in November. An opponent has not been discussed for either event.

Horodecki’s release from the team-based IFL further dispels industry talk that the floundering promotion’s assets might be purchased by Zuffa LLC, owners of the UFC. Launched in 2006 with four teams that later expanded into 12 squads, the IFL held its last event on May 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., before publicly declaring financial difficulties. With no aid in sight and rumors of a sale to either Pro Elite or the UFC looming, the promotion disbanded its New York headquarters in July.

Horodecki, along with IFL champions Vladimir Matyushenko (Pictures), Jay Hieron (Pictures) and Schultz, was seen as a viable acquisition perk if his contract could have been transferred over to a new owner. However, that doesn’t look to be an option anymore.

Sherdog.com reported Monday that Matyushenko will likely have a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Pictures) at Affliction 2 on Oct. 11, while Schultz has been pegged to participate in Sengoku’s lightweight grand prix on Aug. 24 in Saitama, Japan.

A native of London, Ontario, Horodecki also eyed Japan for opportunities. NCFC management was contacted in June regarding a potential bout against former Pride lightweight champion and fellow slugger Takanori Gomi (Pictures) in Sengoku, though the matchup has yet to emerge.

“We liked that fight for him [Horodecki],” says Clark. “We’re continuing our discussions with World Victory Road.”

Loiseau Climbs Back Up Middleweight Mountain

One of the most popular fighters to ever come out of Canada, one-time UFC middleweight contender David Loiseau (Pictures) has spent the past two years fighting in several different organizations since being released from the Las Vegas promotion in 2006.

After a string of three Octagon victories in 2005, Loiseau (17-8) challenged then-champion Rich Franklin (Pictures) for his crown at UFC 58 “USA vs. Canada” in Las Vegas, but took a pummeling for five rounds. A subsequent loss to Mike Swick (Pictures) at UFC 63 in September 2006 signaled the end of Loiseau’s UFC welcome at the time.

Initially hurt by the rejection, Loiseau told Sherdog.com that he learned to get over it.

“At first I felt disrespected, but then I understood that it’s a business to them,” says the 28-year-old Montreal native. “Whether you’re the nicest guy or an asshole -- whoever wins stays, that’s the name of the game. This is how they run their business and I respect it, and the only person to blame is me because I didn’t fight to my potential and I lost.”

UFC matchmaker Joe Silva has told Loiseau that he would be welcomed back someday, but that he first needed to go out and get a few wins under his belt -- something Loiseau is eager to do. In June, he needed just 20 seconds to dispatch Andrew Buckland (Pictures) by knockout at Raw Combat “Resurrection,” and he’s getting ready to headline XMMA 5 on Sept. 13, a promotion of which he is a part owner.

Though Loiseau has fought for the likes of EliteXC and Calgary’s Hardcore Championship Fighting, his heart still lies with the UFC, he says.

“I have considered others, but the UFC is where it’s at,” he says. “I want to finish what I started -- I got cut short and they didn’t let me finish what I wanted to do. I changed my whole game and am such a better fighter than before. I think I would give any middleweight a headache. You’re going to love watching me even more when you see what I can do now.”

Loiseau has also kept busy helping his teammates get ready for their big fights. UFC champion Georges. St. Pierre will be defending his welterweight title against Jon Fitch (Pictures) this weekend at UFC 87 in Minneapolis, and Patrick Cote (Pictures) will try his hand at the UFC middleweight crown against Anderson Silva (Pictures) on Oct. 25 in Chicago.

Loiseau is very enthusiastic about Cote and his chances against the formidable Silva.

“This guy has been in the Army in Bosnia and has seen people die in front of him. He’s not scared of Anderson Silva (Pictures) -- he’s not scared of any man,” says Loiseau. “Cote is coldblooded, and that’s going to help him so much.”

Goulet Mends Broken Foot

With his second-round “Fight of the Night” TKO victory over Kuniyoshi Hironaka (Pictures) (12-5) at UFC 83 last April in Montreal now a three-month memory, you’d think that Jonathan Goulet (Pictures) (22-9) would be stepping back into the Octagon soon. Not so, as “The Road Warrior” told MM-Eh that he was out of action for three months after breaking his foot while training with friend and teammate Patrick Cote (Pictures).

“I was supposed to kick him with my shin, but he stepped back and I hit him with my foot and it broke,” Goulet said. “Then after it was almost better, I re-broke it when I was playing with my dog.”

The injury prevented Goulet from accepting a welterweight matchup against U.K. standout Paul Kelly (Pictures) at UFC 85, which played out June 7 in London.

Goulet could barely walk for those few months, but the time was not wasted. He made the trek to Renzo Gracie (Pictures)’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu academy in New York City, where he indulged in twice-daily private lessons with famed black belt instructor John Danaher.

Goulet plans on spending a week there every month. “It is expensive,” Goulet said, “but worth it.”

If Goulet continues to get FOTN bonuses like the 75 thousand dollar one he received from the UFC, he’ll be able to afford all of the private lessons he wants.

Hollett Faces Hicks, Then Heath

Last week Sherdog.com broke the news that light heavyweight Roger Hollett (Pictures) would make his return to the cage on Sep. 20 at ECC 8 in Halifax, and this week we reveal not only one but both of his next opponents.

ECC President Rob Walker told Sherdog.com exclusively that Hollett will be squaring off against Marcus Hicks (Pictures) (Pictures) (no relation to the recent WEC competitor) in Halifax, and then he’ll be facing UFC veteran David Heath (Pictures) at MFC 19 in Edmonton on Nov. 28.

Hollett told MM-Eh that he’s wanted to fight Hicks, also known as the “Loudmouth Assassin,” for quite some time.

“He’s said some s--- about my family and stuff, and he just talks so much s--- it’s unbelievable,” Hollett said. “He just takes it to a completely other personal level. It’s one thing to hype a fight up, but he goes above and beyond that. It’s just very disrespectful.”

Sporting an 8-12 record with a trio of losses in his last three fights, Hicks seems an unlikely opponent for someone like Hollett, who has big aspirations in the game.

“We’ve had a little bit of a history before where we’ve jawed back and forth. So it’s good to finally be able to punch him in the mouth,” Hollett laughed. “I’m definitely going to be trying to put a hurting on him. The fans will enjoy it for sure.”

As for facing Heath in November, Hollett knows that it’ll be a tough test, but said he’ll be ready.

“He’s a good fighter. He’s fought some of the top guys and he’s probably going to be my toughest challenge to date,” said Hollett. “But I don’t think he hits as hard as me and I don’t think he’s going to be ready for my power, so I don’t see him taking this fight.”

Quick Hits

• On the calendar this Saturday, East Coast Fight Promotions will be in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, for its first event, and Xtreme Cage Wars will be emanating again from Saskatoon.

ECFP ‘Standoff at the Stadium’

Matt MacGrath (Pictures) vs. Dan Grandmaison
Jason Rorison (Pictures) vs. Christopher Hulme
Tim Hague vs. Jeff Lundberg
Brian Chisholm vs. Jamie MacDonald
Jon Swinamer vs. Tim Skidmore (Pictures)
Cory Odo-Murphy vs. Allen Hope
Daryle Pinter (Pictures) vs. Tristan Johnson
Jeff Black vs. Francis Thibault
Matt MacLennan vs. James Saunders
Terry Kerr vs. Corey Buell

XCW 25 ‘Cage Warriors’

Danny Blackburn vs. Darren Appels
Nolan Clark vs. TBD
Alex Kay vs. Conan Patrick
Kirk Thibault vs. Fate Smith
Kurt Bailey vs. Justin Hepditch

Canadian Calendar

Aug. 9: East Coast Fight Promotions "Standoff at the Stadium" - John Brother
MacDonald Memorial Rink - New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
Aug. 9: XCW 25 - Ryly's Nightclub - Saskatoon
Aug. 23: Elite #1 "Showdown at the Dome" - Dundee Sportsdome - Moncton, New Brunswick
Sept. 5: UGC 21 - Pierre-Charbonneau Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Sept. 6: Fighters Nation 2 – Calgary Corral - Calgary, Alberta
Sept. 13: XMMA - Compexe Sportif Claude-Robillard - Montreal, Quebec
Sept. 20: ECC 8 – Halifax Forum - Halifax, Nova Scotia
Sept. 26: MFC 18 "Famous" – River Cree Resort and Casino - Edmonton, Alberta
Sept. 27: IMMAC 5 – I.L.A. Sports Arena – Hagersville, Ontario
Oct. 3: TKO 35 – Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
Oct. 4: X-Fights, Moncton, New Brunswick
Nov. 22: Phoenix Fight Promotions 5 – Dartmouth Sportsplex - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Nov. 28: MFC 19 "Long Time Coming" – River Cree Resort and Casino - Edmonton, Alberta
Dec. 5: TKO 36 – Bell Centre - Montreal, Quebec
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