A mixed martial arts fighter is about to compete on the highest stage of his sport. However, he didn’t have much time to celebrate.
Resident of Loganville and Cody Durden, originally from Covington, is an MMA fighter, who won a recent victory at a National Fighting Championship event in Conyers. He said he celebrated for a while, but immediately went back to work on his construction job. So last Saturday, while training in the gym, he heard a famous UFC fighter manager, Malki Kawa. Not long after, they were on the phone.
“[He said,] “What’s going on, man?” I’m like, “nothing fancy, going to the gym,” Durden said. “He said,” well, when you get there, tell them you’re officially an UFC fighter with a 4 fight contract. And your next fight is Saturday. I froze. I did not know what to say! “
Durden, who trains with the American Top Team – Team Lima, had only one week to prepare for the fight, held at the Ultimate Fighting Championship event in Las Vegas. He is taking the place of another fighter who was to appear, but has been replaced. Durden said he normally has about 8 weeks to prepare for a fight. Competing in the UFC entailed many obligations beyond simple training.
“I had to do an MRI, an MRA, an EKG, an EKG, an optometrist had to have an eye exam,” Durden said. “I’ve been around.”
The UFC event is streamed on ESPN +. Durden claims to be in the first fight of the evening, starting at 19:00. He is currently leading a 7-game winning streak, and says the whole experience won’t sink completely until he returns home with his family. All he can do now is put on a good show.
“I went on stage, I’m here and now I need to work harder because I’m here to stay,” said Durden.