A late addition to the Eternal MMA 56 card is one of Perth’s most promising young fighters.
Cody Haddon will take on a promotion staple in Mark Familari on the February 13 event at HBF Stadium.
The 22-year-old, who had a 5-0 amateur career, made his professional MMA debut last October against Shantaram Maharaj. In the co-main event of Eternal MMA 53 , which aired globally on UFC Fight Pass, Haddon dominated the 18-fight veteran for as long as it lasted, finishing him via TKO in just over one minute.
“I mean, it was good, yeah,” Haddon told Fight News Australia.
Though for many others – a vocal majority of HBF Stadium – it was decidedly more. Despite his 1-0 record, Haddon has already amassed a loyal following.
“There’s a lot of people that always want to come and support me. I think it’s because I’ve always done combat sports,” said Haddon.
The hype surrounding the young fighter is for more than an unblemished record. Haddon has trained in Taekwondo, wrestling, Muay Thai in addition to MMA. He’s a three-time Australian champion in boxing and four-time Pan Pacific champion in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. After starting martial arts at just six years of age, he soon became known to more than a few as “the kid that wants to go to the UFC”.
Haddon will once again face a more experienced opponent next month. Familari (1-6) has fought nine times under the Eternal MMA banner and taken on some of Perth’s strongest fighters.
“Mark [Familari] is tough as. I know he’s so tough. He’s fought so many high-level guys, the best of the best, and he definitely doesn’t quit. I feel like I have a much better ground game than Mark and even on the feet, I think I can stand there with the guy, too. I have sparred with him before – obviously, sparring’s sparring and fighting’s fighting – but yeah, I’m confident in my ability. Respect to Mark, he’s tough and all of that, but I feel like I just have a few more tools compared to him. I have more ways to win.”
Haddon is yet to go to a decision and has finished four of his wins in the first round. While accruing cage time is invaluable experience, Haddon would prefer do that in number of opponents than rounds.
“Careers are only short in this game and I think when I’m in there, I’m not going to try and dance around for 15 minutes if I can get the job done in the first minute. It’s about getting in and getting out untouched so that you’re fresh and able to do it again in three weeks’ time, four weeks’ time, and be as active as possible. Get in there and take minimal damage; that’s my goal.”
“As long as I’m getting my hand raised,” he added.
After signing an exclusive deal with Eternal MMA, Haddon is guaranteed three bouts this year, which suits him perfect.
“I would like to smash [fights] out as much as I can whilst I’m healthy,” Haddon said. “Injuries can set you back for so long, so whilst you’re fit and healthy you may as well take as many fights as you can get, one after another.”