For Cody Brundage, his fourth career professional MMA bout will be the biggest of his career to date. He fights Erick Lozano on Saturday, Dec. 14 for the Lights Out Championship middleweight title.
Brundage is excited for the opportunity, as he feels LOC is one of the top promotions in Michigan. He said winning the title would be awesome, though it’d only be a sign of what’s to come.
“Winning a professional in only my fourth professional fight puts me on track to do some big things,” Brundage told MMASucka. “It’s definitely the expectation. I’m not patting myself on the back or feeling great about it, because that’s not the goal. That’s just the expectation to go in there, handle business, dominate the fight, get the belt, add that to the resume and then keep moving forward from there.”
Cody Brundage vs. Erick Lozano: the Match-up
Brundage is 3-0 in his professional career, picking up wins against men with records of 2-0, 0-1 and 1-1–all in 2019. His opponent, Lozano, who has a pro record of 13-15, is by far the most experienced fighter Brundage will have faced. However, he feels Lozano’s 28 pro bouts is where his advantages in their looming fight end.
“Erick is super experienced, but that’s pretty much where his advantages stock,” he said. “He’s definitely the more experienced fighter, but when it comes to who’s the more skilled technical striker and who’s the more skilled technical grappler, I think I’m better in all areas except for experience.”
Brundage is well aware of Lozano’s five-fight winning streak, as well as the fact he’s won nine of his last 12. That said, he doesn’t believe Lozano has beaten guys of his caliber; something he feels will be proven come fight night.
Still, Brundage respects the experience of Lozano and discussed some of the challenges that could arise.
“Having that many fights, he’s not going to get flustered,” Brundage said. “He’s pretty much been put in every position you could be put in. As a young fighter, it’s easy to lose your composure, get flustered or frustrated if you’re put in a position you’ve never really had to deal with.”
Brundage is an up-and-coming wrestler who’s a product of Newberry College’s Division II wrestling program. After kicking off his amateur MMA career in 2017, Brundage feels equipped with the best possible base.
“I think the easiest base to build off of is wrestling, just because not many people have that base, so you can completely dictate where a fight takes place from the beginning of your career,” he said. “That’s a luxury non-wrestlers don’t have.”
He added that tailoring his wrestling to mixed martial arts has been an easy transition. After all, he’s a lifelong athlete with high school and college-level wrestling experience.
“Wrestling is such a physically demanding contact sport, it wasn’t that much of a shift,” he explained. “I think most people you’d ask who wrestled in college and do MMA would tell you wrestling is the harder of the two in terms of what it demands. I think MMA is more fun, as I have more fun doing MMA than I did wrestling for sure.”
Brundage is a self-described quick starter who isn’t one for the typical feeling-out process. Having trained with UFC fighter Michel Pereira, Brundage said he feels comfortable on the feet.
“From the minute that the bell goes, I’m trying to take my opponent’s heads off,” he said. “Whether it’s on the ground or the feet, I’m going for the finish the whole time. People think just because I’m a wrestler, I’m going to try to take you down and lay on you. That’s not the case. I flow to wherever I’m at. If I’m on the feet, I feel good on the feet, then I’ll stay on the feet. If the takedown’s there, I’ll take the takedown. But I’m super well-rounded, so I think it’s hard to make me uncomfortable.”
Brundage believes his well-rounded game will spell trouble for Lozano in their title bout, as he feels his wrestling is better than what Lozano gets at his gym.
“He’s never had a fight with somebody with my grappling,” he said. “I can stand with him or trade with him, but I think I take him down and grind him out. I think his whole camp, he’s trained to stuff the takedown and knock me out while I’m trying to take him down. When that’s your whole game plan, you train that for eight weeks, and then you get taken down right away, it can break you. I think it will break him. I think at the end of the first, early second, a ground and pound stoppage would be my prediction.”
On the Horizon
With a win and new belt, Brundage believes he’d only be a couple of wins away from a shot on Dana White’s Contender Series. Until then, he said he’d like to continue fighting for LOC. He’s also willing to take a fight with CLIP, another Michigan promotion. He’s also eyeing LFA, or even traveling abroad to fight in Road FC, taking a page out of Pereira’s book.
Still, it all begins with the next obstacle in his path: Lozano. LOC 6 goes down Saturday at the Deltaplex Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.