While at times his lack of experience has gotten him into trouble, Jackson’s MMA up-and-comer Cody East has been able to overcome it. Because of that, he was able to claim the King of the Cage heavyweight championship from Nick Rossburough late last month.
“I could have finished that fight if I really pushed the pace, but fighting five rounds I was kind of holding back because I didn’t want to get tired,” said East.
“There’s times if I would have stayed on him I would have finished him, but I let him up because I didn’t want to get tired. It was good to go five rounds because now I know I can.”
While East feels he could have done more, he was hampered in the fight by an injury he sustained early on.
“In the second round, I broke my fibula with a kick, so a lot of the fight I had to fight as a southpaw,” he said. “My options weren’t very good after that.
“It’s a weight-bearing fracture, so I’m going to take a month to rest and then I’ll get back on it after that.”
Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, East (7-1) feels that over the past year he’s learned valuable lessons that have helped him get to where he is now.
“When I first started I would just go in there and go hard and try to finish the fight quick, but now that I’m more seasoned I know that I can win in the first round, but I don’t have to,” he said. “It’s been working for me to pace myself.”
Now that he’s claimed his first KOTC title, East told MMAWeekly.com that he’d like to make some history and add more championships to his resume over the coming year.
“From what I understand, I’m going to be fighting the winner of Wes Combs and Tony Bonello for the 230-pound belt,” he said. “There’s opportunities coming up and I’ve got two fights on my KOTC contract. I want to defend my belt and after I win the 230-pound belt, I want to fight Tony Lopez for the super-heavyweight title.
“I could probably make 205 if I want to. If I get those two other belts, I’d like to be the first person to have four belts at the same time, that’d be something worth wanting to do also.”
(Photo courtesy of King of the Cage and Monstro Photos)