Featured image taken by Gerardo Ramos
If you’ve not heard of Kody “Big Mo” Mommaerts, you should! The youngest and fastest-growing ring announcer around, “Big Mo” is taking the combat sports world by storm.
We’ve had the privilege to catch up with Kody and get to know him better, plus hear his plans for the future.
Who is Big Mo?
Once a college footballer, Mommaerts has now made waves within combat sports. In the two and a half years that he’s been announcing, he’s had the honor of calling fights within promotions like BYB, XMMA, Sparta Sports as well as the first-ever North American Lethwei fight. He’s also won several awards where he faced competition from announcers in LFA, Showtime and others.
Outside of the ring, Big Mo also has a career as an actor as well as a model. Aside from entertainment, he dabbles in the tech sector as an entrepreneur with an impressive MBA in hand. The young ring announcer is also a bit of a foodie, enjoying Italian foods, and is a bit of a wine drinker himself – when he’s not preparing for a show, of course!
Getting to know Big Mo
• What drew you into the MMA scene and hooked you into becoming a fan? Take us to that moment.
“I remember being introduced to MMA around the time of Chuck Liddell, Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, and others. I specifically remember watching the UFC PPVs when they would re-run on cable. So I was able to consume a lot of content and fights quickly, which is what educated me on the sport before anything else.”
• When was the moment you knew you wanted to become a ring announcer and why in mixed martial arts?
“So, I was actually a commentator first. Sparta Sports & Entertainment brought me on as a color commentator, and I did a few shows for them purely in that role. I enjoy all media-type roles for fight promotions, whether it be a ring announcer, commentator, analyst, interviewer, I’ve done and liked it all.
“But I remember I did a show, and I started thinking about how I would do the role of being an announcer. At that point, I knew I wanted to try, and I ended up really liking it…fast-forward a couple years and numerous shows, and here we are today!”
• You were a college athlete, so why an announcer and not a fighter?
“I grew up obviously loving sports and athletics, and it really was the biggest part of my identity. But some part of me knew that media or entertainment work could be something I could do. So when my football career was over, I just knew I wanted to pursue media-type work because it was something I never tried when I was younger.”
• Who are your biggest inspirations – both in and out of the ring?
In the ring, it is definitely the Buffer brothers. I believe they are both the gold standard in their respective sports and styles. But more importantly, they have styles that are uniquely them; that is what I appreciate the most. Outside the ring, I do like to take inspiration from other forms of entertainment where I can—hosts, speakers, comedians, etc. There are too many to name!
• Which MMA fighter, active or retired, would you love to spend a day with?
“That’s a tough question. I feel like hanging out with different fighters would yield different types of days. I would say my top 3 (in no order) would be Anderson Silva, Conor, or Stipe.”
• What was the most recent movie that you’ve watched that moved you?
“‘King Richard’, starring Will Smith. Wow, what a film. This movie was fantastic for a variety of reasons; the story, the acting, the lessons, everything was great. But for me, the movie hit home because of how my dad raised me. I’m not comparing my dad to Richard Williams, but my dad’s approach to raising me was very similar.
“In that, whatever I did, my dad was very involved and was there with me every step of the way. He would educate himself on what I was learning or practicing; he would drive me to and attend all the events I was in to watch me, etc. I believe that that really helped me as a child, and I believe that is how a parent should be. So I connected to King Richard very well for that reason, amongst numerous others. Just a great film; I hope it gets a lot of recognition.”
• Tell us about your most memorable event – why was it so special to you?
“In 2020, I announced the Lethwei World Championship fight between Dave Leduc & Cyrus Washington. This followed the first-ever Lethwei fight in North America, which I also got to announce. Sparta Sports and Entertainment executed both fights in conjunction with the Wyoming Combat Sports Commission. The Leduc/Washington fight was the biggest fight I had ever announced. It was a global event. At the time, I was only about a year into my career, so I was not nearly as polished, but ultimately this fight gave me a taste of a large event, and I haven’t looked back since.”
• What’s your pre-show routine? Any superstitions?
“First things first, I do a final review of all of my notes and fight cards. I try to memorize as much as possible for a show, and I try to use my cards as just a reference. This allows me to engage more with the camera and audience instead of just reading. I do this while getting ready. I also dissolve cough drops in water and drink the water over time to help soothe my throat just in case there’s any mucus or anything (tip for speakers and singers).
“Then, when I am at the show, I’m pretty focused but relaxed at the same time. I’m talking with production and the team I’m working with in case any last-minute adjustments need to be made. And then finally, I like to take two shots of vodka. It’s mostly just a superstition.”
• Why vodka specifically, and why two shots?
“Haha, I’m not a big drinker, but vodka is just my favorite liquor, that’s all. I take one shot for me, one shot for the fighters.
“I’m a big guy, 6-foot-seven, so that’s not enough to do anything to me. The shots help me more mentally loosen up. It’s just a superstition.”
• What’s in the works for Big Mo in 2022?
“I have a couple of exciting new opportunities already lined up for 2022. I’ll be announcing them over the next couple of months on my social media! But overall, this year, I’m going to continue doing my thing and attacking this career and industry in a way never seen before!”