Petrolia native makes his mark in MMA


Petrolia native Cody Chovancek has always loved fighting. 

As a kid, he and his friends would rough house for fun. At LCCVI, he was on the wrestling team.

But he’s taken that love of fighting to a whole new level as a professional Mixed Martial Arts athlete.

Chovancek – a featherweight – was in Sarnia over the weekend in the BTC Challenger series and won his third pro match.

Chovancek got involved in MMA after high school competing as an amateur. “I was working full time and then I would go straight from work to the gym.” He’d be there for three or four hours honing his sport.

But then the Ontario government banned amateur fights and Chovancek had to make a decision, if he wanted to fight, he would have to turn pro.

“I was here actually working for a company in Petrolia, doing steel framing, and I just went did late training at a gym just while I was in St. Catharines for work. And I just never left,” he says.

“That week, when I went back to Petrolia, I told my parents ‘I’m moving out here to pursue fighting full time,’ and they were super supportive.”

He began training full time, first in St. Catharines and now with Niagara Top Team Gym – one of the best in the country for MMA fighters.

Chovancek is now 3-0 in his pro career and loves every minute of the sport which often leaves competitors bruised and bloodied.

“A lot of sports are brutal. A lot of people don’t know that, like hockey’s pretty brutal. A lot of people get concussions and you’re hitting, you’re skating at each other full force and smashing into each other,” he says.

“To me, MMA the purest form of competition. It’s just you one on one in the ring competing. I’m not relying on other people.”

Chovancek says it was great competing in Sarnia. He’s expecting to be on another card before the end of the year.