GRAND RAPIDS, Mich -- Sparta native, Cody Stamann, has fought hard for his title as the top prospect for the UFC, but the professional MMA fighter originally got into the sport for fun.
“I wrestled most of my life, I also boxed at Sand Lake boxing club, so the combination of wrestling and boxing led me to MMA" Stamann said. "It really started as a hobby. I never really intended to do it professionally. I was just going to school. I was doing it to stay competitive. I really enjoyed it. And then I started to kind of lean away from everything else in my life and the only thing I really wanted to do was fight and when the opportunity came up to do an amateur fight in Grand Rapids, I took the opportunity.”
Starting out, his fights were somewhat of a guessing game.
“The local scene for MMA is still developing. But when I started, it was like the Wild West, so there were guys that had a ton of experience and guys that had no experience" Stamann said. "So really you never really knew who you were getting in the cage with. It was definitely a crazy experience for me. I couldn’t believe after I did it. Every single time I get in the cage, I’m like, man am I really doing this? I’m gonna lock myself in a cage and fight someone?”
After going 19 and one as an amateur, he is now 12 and one as a professional. And he’s going to keep proving he’s worthy of the next step.
“My end goal is to be in the UFC. That’s always been my goal. The UFC is kind of like the NFL of fighting" Stamann added. "If you’re gonna play football anywhere you want to play in the NFL, just like if you’re going to fight anywhere you want to fight in the UFC. But there are a lot of other guys just like me with the record and credentials that I have. So I want to stay busy and keep beating guys that are worthy opponents.”
Stamann's next fight is the KOP54 main event Friday night at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids.