Not exactly sure where to put this, so I figured general was as good a place as any.
It appears that a feeding frenzy has begun to circle around 20-year-old wunderkind Chris Horodecki (Pictures) now that he has officially become a free agent.
Jeff Clark (Pictures), one half of Horodecki’s North County Fight Club management team, says his client was released from his International Fight League contract last week at the fighter’s request, clearing a path for prospective promoters to voice their interest in the young striker.
Among the suitors for the baby-faced Horodecki (12-1) -- who piled up seven victories in the promotion before meeting a brick wall named Ryan Shultz in their rematch at the World Grand Prix finals in December 2007 -- the WEC, Affliction and the Kentucky-based American Fight League have all thrown proverbial hats in the ring.
“The AFL has come in with a very generous offer,” says Clark, “but Affliction has said they will match it or beat it.”
According to Clark, Affliction would like to book Horodecki in a lightweight bout for its Oct. 11 sophomore event at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, while the AFL’s next event will likely take place in November. An opponent has not been discussed for either event.
Horodecki’s release from the team-based IFL further dispels industry talk that the floundering promotion’s assets might be purchased by Zuffa LLC, owners of the UFC. Launched in 2006 with four teams that later expanded into 12 squads, the IFL held its last event on May 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., before publicly declaring financial difficulties. With no aid in sight and rumors of a sale to either Pro Elite or the UFC looming, the promotion disbanded its New York headquarters in July.
Horodecki, along with IFL champions Vladimir Matyushenko (Pictures), Jay Hieron (Pictures) and Schultz, was seen as a viable acquisition perk if his contract could have been transferred over to a new owner. However, that doesn’t look to be an option anymore.
Sherdog.com reported Monday that Matyushenko will likely have a rematch with Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (Pictures) at Affliction 2 on Oct. 11, while Schultz has been pegged to participate in Sengoku’s lightweight grand prix on Aug. 24 in Saitama, Japan.
A native of London, Ontario, Horodecki also eyed Japan for opportunities. NCFC management was contacted in June regarding a potential bout against former Pride lightweight champion and fellow slugger Takanori Gomi (Pictures) in Sengoku, though the matchup has yet to emerge.
“We liked that fight for him [Horodecki],” says Clark. “We’re continuing our discussions with World Victory Road.”
Where would you guys like to see Horodecki end up? Personally, I think a fight against Gomi would be one of the worst matchups he could have right now, because he'd get manhandled, but a couple years down the road it could be something entertaining.
I think the WEC would be a good place for him to actually develop, because towards the end of his IFL days he didn't seem to be getting any better. The kid's only 20, and has a ton of potential, so putting him in the WEC seems to make sense because I think he could step in against some of the WEC LWs and win, but to make it to the top of that division he'd have to improve a lot.