Interview: Cody Phillips

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“Hopefully, in the second round I’ll get him on the canvas, and I’m not talking about with a sweep. I mean on the canvas and the fight ends.”

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Cody Phillips

Interview and Photos by: Richard Burmaster

Cody Phillips is going to have to make some hard choices very soon. If he had average skills then the choice would be easy.  Fortunately for us, Cody is not average. The striking display he gave us against Alex Black in his last fight showed the athleticism and the technique that has come from hard hours at the gym. When you realize that Cody trains less than most of us because of his job than you have to wonder what he can do with a full time training schedule?

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TCD.Net: How did you get started in martial arts?

Cody: I was actually online looking for a gun permit, and with Scott’s brilliant website work I came across his site. I picked up the phone and called him. A buddy of mine I worked with went in that night also and trained with Scott . My buddy lasted that night and never came back. I have been here going on three years now.

TCD.Net: What has kept you here at Bam Bam?

Cody: Scott and Brett. I am a very loyal guy. These guys have taken me from a little overweight former athlete to where I am now. I am constantly picking these guys brains about martial arts, and I have never wanted to stray from here. I’ve got the knowledge right here with Scott especially with his background.

TCD.Net: If you had to pick one thing that helps this gym standout what would it be?

Cody: Scott does a phenomenal job of creating the perception that the gym isn’t just a bunch of meat heads. This sport is filled with lots of very intelligent people, and through marketing this gym has a good mix. Brett and Scott do an awesome job of promoting themselves and this place. It’s a very friendly environment.

TCD.Net: Are you able to get any cross training at any other schools?

Cody: Actually during the holiday season, there were some issues with scheduling and things, and Scott recommended I do some cross training with Kru Pong. I’ve been doing cross training there since January.

TCD.Net: What made you branch off into Muay thai?

Cody: My 1st two mma fights were with Young Guns. I did fine there. Muay
Thai is a sport I love. I love the culture. I like the idea of being able to showcase just the standup portion. The crowds who support Muay Thai are different as well I think. I love the cage, but I think this is a great opportunity to showcase standup for the fighters and the city. If we all do just mma then we kind of get lost in the shuffle. MMA is still about specializing in individualized arts and then mixing them together.

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TCD.Net: What was going on in your mind during your last fight with Alex Black?

Cody: Alex Black is a great fighter. I knew a little bit about his game. I knew he had good hands. I had seen some of his fights. I knew he was good on the ground as well, but I didn’t have to worry about that. I found out actually a week before since some other fighters had dropped out, so I went from fighting guys who were a little bit smaller to a guy who was 6.1 and left handed, Alex. I was scrambling at the last minute to try to change my game plan up, but during the fight things slowed down and since our body types are so different I just tried to do something different like flying kicks. I was fortunate to be able to fight Alex, and I’d do it again. I don’t throw the flying kicks just for show. Kru Pong actually has us train those.

TCD.Net:Your fight Friday is against Alex Morano, What do you know about Alex?

Cody: The most I’ve seen on Alex is on thecagedoor interview. I saw more on your minute interview than his other fights because he just made quick work of other people. I respect the guys that he trains with, and I have spared with his instructor Daniel Kim not too long ago at Kru Pong. That was kind of awkward, I mean it’s Daniel Kim and you want to spar impressively, but also try to hold back and now show too much. The guys around him are phenomenal guys, so I expect the same from him. I’m excited. He’s bigger than me, so hopefully the fight will slow down for me like the last one.

TCD.Net:How do you predict this fight ending?

Cody: If you ask my girlfriend, who I’ve told 6 thousand times, she’d tell you that Alex is going to sleep. I envision this being my first opportunity for a knock out. I hold nothing against Alex’s skills. I feel like the underdog in this fight to be sincere with you, but you never know this could be your last fight, and with what I’ve got going on I feel like we are going to leave it all inside the ring. Hopefully, in the second round I’ll get him on the canvas, and I’m not talking about with a sweep. I mean on the canvas and the fight ends.

TCD.Net:You are giving your ticket proceeds to a charity. Tell us about the charity.

Cody:The David Center for Texas Childrens Hospital. I have family members that carry this immune deficiency disorder. It’s not the same disorder that David had, but it is similar. I’m very fortunate that I do not carry this disorder, but other family members’ are. It takes a lot of money and research to help this disorder for my family. This is a fund that I can give to help family that I have and other children that come into Houston with this disorder. Learn more about The David Center here http://www.texaschildrens.org/web/50years/patients_david.htm

TCD.Net:Why do you fight?

Cody: It’s a passion. I’m at a crossroads in life where it’s do you follow a passion or not. Not about going to the UFC, but about just being an athlete I love the training and the art of what goes on not the brutality of it. I like to dissect people’s techniques’ and trying to figure out someone else’s abilities. It really is a science. It’s technique against power a lot of the time. It really is my passion. It keeps me looking forward to the next day and helps out in all aspects of my life.

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TCD.Net: Do you think people focus on the brutality of the sport because they don’t understand the Art that is represented or do they just enjoy the brutality?

Cody: A lot of people do focus on the brutality, but a lot of people are becoming educated.  I think I have a huge appreciation for the muay thai because it shows a different side of fighting.  When you throw people into a cage, which I enjoy cage fighting, the perception is of a hostile environment. The events I’ve been to have been very well run.  The everyday person does not understand it. My Mom is just now coming around to what I do. If you get inside of these places and train you can see that it’s not all about brutality.  It’s deep in tradition. Hopefully one day we will focus less on the brutality, and we will focus more on people’s defense and technique like we do in other sports.

TCD.Net:Who are some of your favorite fighters?

Cody: Scott Sullivan.  Watching some of his videos intrigues the hell out of me. Anderson Silva, Jose Aldo. They harness what the sport is really about. I have a huge appreciation for Uriah Faber’s heart.

TCD.Net: You mentioned being at a crossroads, how far do you think you can take this?

Cody: That’s the thing that’s most intriguing to me because I really don’t know. I don’t want to look back one day though and wonder what could have been. I want to go to other countries and fight. I want to take it as far as I can. In life, do you decide to give up what pays the bills to push forward in a sport where you don’t know what the end result will be? Also it’s a short lived career, not the training or coaching aspect, but the fighting itself.  You’re not expected to stay around very long. Work and training are running into each other right now, and we will see what happens.  Hard to show up at work everyday when your passion is fighting. I give kudos to guys who are pro’s with no other jobs.

TCD.Net: Is there anyone you want to mention or thank?

Cody: First and foremost Scott Sullivan. Scott got me in to this sport and without him we would not be sitting here right now. Brett Boyce, without him I would not have been puking at Memorial Park on Sunday ha-ha.  Brett is always on me and putting me in the right positions. Justin here at Bam-Bam, he has laid numerous amounts of hook’s and right hands. The team at Kru Pong and Kru Pong himself, who is a phenomenal person. Those guys there keep it fun and upbeat. They are my friends and family, and I want to thank all of them.

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