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No Mercy

Q&A with 20-year-old MMA fighter Chris Horodecki

Posted: Tuesday October 16, 2007 4:57PM; Updated: Tuesday October 16, 2007 5:04PM
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Chris Horodecki is currently the IFL league's de facto MVP.
Chris Horodecki is currently the IFL league's de facto MVP.
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

If you ever questioned the adage "looks can deceive," check out Chris Horodecki. Though Horodecki just turned 20, he resembles an unimposing high school freshman who hasn't quite lost all of his baby fat. Yet in ten professional mixed martial arts fights, he is undefeated, mauling some of the baddest dudes on the planet. Just check out the kick at the end of this sequence.

Born in Poland and raised in Ontario, Horodecki currently fights for the Los Angeles Anacondas in the International Fight League (IFL), which is among the many fights leagues trying to challenge the supremacy of the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). With mighty heavyweight Ben "The North Star" Rothwell currently arm-locked in a contract dispute with the IFL, Horodecki, a lightweight, is the league's de facto MVP. "The Polish Hammer" takes on Bart Palaszevski of the Quad Cities Silverbacks in the IFL's Grand Prix event November 3rd at the Sears Center in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.

Horodecki recently sat down for five questions with Si.com:

SI.com: How'd a kid like you get mixed up in this?

Horodecki: I did karate from when I was like six years old. When I was around 13, I was intrigued by MMA in general and more contact fighting. I was fan of pro wrestling and my uncle would bring over old UFC tapes and I just wanted to do whatever I could. I met my trainer and I learned the wrestling and grappling and jiu-jitsu and put it together. The martial arts was the foundation though.

SI.com: What's the first MMA fight you remember watching?

Horodecki: Pete Williams and Mark Coleman [UF XVII]. That kick always stuck out in my mind. Also, Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie were two guys that stood out.

SI.com: Whether because you're the shared Polish heritage or because you two had a good fight last time, your fight with Bart is being billed as a "rivalry." Do you see it that way?

Horodecki: There's no bad blood or animosity. We were friends and I think we still are. I mean, I respect him, his coach, his team. It's just the way the league is set up. You have to take fights you don't want to take.

SI.com: Given your size and body build is there one guy you model yourself after?

Horodecki: I'm sort of unique but I look up to Georges St. Pierre. But there are tons of fighters I admire.

SI.com: You've beaten some guys up pretty bad. Does mercy ever come into play?

Horodecki: Not really at the time. It's a hit-or-be-hit kind of sport. It's a better-him-than-me kind of deal. But ideally I don't want any of my opponents getting hurt. I don't want to be the cause of any real injuries, That's not in my list of goals.