The 22-year-old Australian finisher no one wants to fight


Photo credit: Jasmin Frank

Cody Haddon may not yet be known to the mainstream MMA audience, but he is one to watch.

Haddon (2-0) is a young Australian prospect who is only 22 years old; however, he has been involved in martial arts since the age of 6, training in Taekwon-Do, wrestling, Muay Thai, boxing (3 x Australian champion) and BJJ.

“When I was very young I remember watching boxing and MMA, especially the UFC with my dad on TV, and been addicted to combat sports ever since,” Haddon said in an exclusive interview. with Cagesidepress. “One day, I asked my dad to take me to the Taekwon-Do gym because I was obsessed with Karate kid movie. He took me there and I felt at home. I was never really good at anything when I was young. At school, I was this fat little boy with asthma, and I was always sick, so anything physical was always difficult for me.

“When I got to the Taekwon-Do gym, I just had a bit of a natural ability for it. The coaches were showing me something once, and I could do it right away. And for the very first time, I felt like, wow, I’m really good at something, you know, so therefore, I never really stopped practicing martial arts. I got hooked because it made me feel good.

Haddon participates in the bantamweight division. Between June 2018 and September 2019, the Australian amassed an amateur MMA record of 5-0. His five wins were due to one stoppage – four submissions and a TKO.

“To be honest, I probably should have turned pro right away to start my MMA career,” said Haddon. “But I’m glad I took the longer route because I wanted to know what my real weight division was. I didn’t want to jump into the pros right away and go flyweight without ever cutting that weight before and ruining my body and possibly starting off on the wrong foot.

Haddon made his professional debut at Eternal MMA 53 on October 20, 2020. He faced Shantaram Maharaj, a fighter who has had 19 more fights than him. Haddon would defeat him in just over a minute via TKO.

“Getting my first professional win was very rewarding, you know? I have imagined it all my life. I always wanted to be an MMA fighter, and getting a first round stoppage was everything, ”said Haddon.

Haddon would return for his second professional fight at Eternal MMA 56 in the main event. He would face Mark Familari and would be victorious again via TKO, this time in the second round.

“I knew my Mark was super tough and durable, and he wasn’t going to give up, so I knew I was going to have to kick him out or hurt him really, really hard,” Haddon said. “I didn’t have a game plan for the fight because I knew I was going to have the upper hand wherever the fight took place. The fight went exactly as I expected and I’m generally happy with my performance.

The 22-year-old has struggled to find fights, even dating back to his days as an amateur.

“I guess it’s just a high and low risk reward for these guys who turn me down. I probably would have had more than five amateur fights if I had had the chance. Just know that I never turned down a fight, and I never will. Unless it’s a flyweight bout on short notice, ”laughs Haddon.

Haddon returns to battle at Eternal 60 on June 5 in Perth, Australia against his toughest test yet. He faces off against Eternal Flyweight Champion Steve Erceg in a bantamweight match. Erceg was ready to defend his title; however, his opponent withdrew from the fight.

Haddon wrote on Instagram: “Nothing I love more than fighting in front of a crowd at home! Eternal flyweight champion Steve Erceg unfortunately saw his title defense postponed and agreed to come meet me at bantamweight in what will be the toughest fight of my career.

With a victory Erceg, that would put Haddon at 3-0, and he says in a perfect world he would be signed by a big organization, sitting at 5-0. But he knows that sometimes lighter fighters take longer.

“You see heavyweights getting signed to the UFC or the Bellator with three fights, but then you see 135ers or 155ers going into promotions with 20 fights,” said Haddon.

“The truth is, I’ve been in combat sports my whole life, you know. So not only have I competed in MMA but also participated in a lot of other martial arts like amateur boxing and things like that which is really popular in Australia. I am three times boxing champion and four times PanPacs BJJ champion. I am a true mixed martial artist and have been my whole life. I will continue to prove it.

Time will tell when Haddon is signed into a large organization, but first he has to pass Erceg on June 5.

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