Cody Fredrickson defends his Kick Down middleweight championship belt Saturday at Kick Down 54 at a Red Lion Hotel in Denver. Fredrickson rose from contender to title defender on the Colorado cage-fighting circuit in less than a year.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Cody Fredrickson defends his Kick Down middleweight championship belt Saturday at Kick Down 54 at a Red Lion Hotel in Denver. Fredrickson rose from contender to title defender on the Colorado cage-fighting circuit in less than a year.

Up-and-coming local cage fighter to defend title Saturday

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If you go

What: Kick Down 54

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Red Lion Hotel, 4040 Quebec St., Denver

• For tickets, call Steve Alley

at 720-422-5154

• For directions, call 800-733-5466

Cody Fredrickson's blood spills on the floor of a cage just like any other fighter's.

But, unlike the many who have dared step into the cage before him, the fluid that pumps through Fredrickson's veins has proved to possess a different strain.

A championship strain.

The cage-fighting Craig resident is the current holder of two championship belts - in just three professional fights - and he doesn't plan to give them up anytime soon.

Art Brown (2-1) will take a shot at it Saturday in Denver at a Red Lion Hotel.

"I've put in a lot of work to be the champ," Fredrickson (3-0) said. "I'm OK with people wanting to take my belt. Everybody wants a shot at the champ. But I'll tell you what; I don't plan on giving him, or anybody, a chance to take it.

"I'm going to impose my will right away."

And, as far as fighting goes, Fredrickson has been imposing his will from the onset.

His first pro fight April 26 netted him the Rampage in the Cage light heavyweight championship.

Three months later, he claimed the Kick Down middleweight championship.

When realizing Fredrickson earned both his belts in three months on the Colorado cage-fighting circuit, it may seem awfully quick to some.

But, to Fredrickson, it's business as usual.

To him, fighting just comes naturally.

You could say it's in his blood.

"I've been fighting for as long as I can remember," Fredrickson said, "and I've always done pretty good at it. I guess when you're a fighter, you'll always be a fighter."

Fredrickson hasn't just simply fought; he's won - and won a lot.

And against any opponent put in front of him.

"It doesn't matter who I fight," he said. "A fight is a fight. I'm confident enough to take on just about anybody."

As a 10- and 12-year-old wrestler, Fredrickson earned his first title of champion - in two disciplines.

He mastered the Greco and Freestyle forms of the sport and was crowned National Champion, as well as earning All-America status.

When he arrived at Moffat County High School, not much changed.

Fredrickson captured two silver medals and a bronze his final three years at the 4A state championships as a Bulldog.

But despite the success, wrestling just wasn't enough.

"I was kind of burnt out on it a little bit," he said. "I didn't really think at that point that wrestling would be my career. Little did I know that it would transition into something else for me."

He was sucked into the new cage-fighting whirlwind, and he wanted to be a part of it. Knowing his skills fighting on the mat just wouldn't be enough, Fredrickson decided to box.

As fast as you can say, "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee," Frederickson was fighting at the top of Colorado's Golden Gloves Amateur boxing circuit.

A third-place finish in the 2007 Golden Gloves state championships was the final push Fredrickson needed to finally step into the cage.

"I watched cage fighting on TV and I knew that I could compete with those guys," Fredrickson said. "It's just always been a dream of mine."

But, in his dream he never forgot his roots, the reason he is where he is: wrestling.

"So far, wrestling has always been the dominant part of my style," Fredrickson said. "I train striking constantly, but if I get to a point in a fight where I'm not thinking clearly, my wrestling just pulls though and comes naturally to me.

"I've ended up winning because of my wrestling skill."

His "submission wrestler" style has proven more than effective.

The two-time champion already has his eyes set on a third belt.

"I'm still moving up," Fredrickson said. "I'm moving on to Strike Force fighting next."

And if his next move goes anything like those in his past, Fredrickson will be wearing three belts.

Notes:

The residents of Craig who traveled to Denver on July 26 for Fredrickson's championship win were awarded the Kick Down "best fans of the night" award. Fredrickson encourages residents to attend, saying "there is no better feeling than to fight in front of your hometown fans that traveled to see you. It means a lot. It really gives me a boost."

Craig residents Eli Buckner (1-1) and Richard Large (1-1) also will be fighting in the event.

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