Cody Gabelman (5-3) ran through the competition as an amateur, racking up an impressive twelve wins with one loss. The Cincinnati-native began his professional career four years ago. On Saturday night, Gabelman will meet Michael Shields (2-8) in the main event at Premier MMA Championship 6.
His professional career picked up right where his amateur career ended, winning the first two fights. Since then the G-Force MMA product was victorious in half of his next six matches. That includes a loss in his most recent fight against Lloyd Thornton. That loss was probably one of the most devastating losses of his career.
In that fight, Gabelman was cut open from an elbow midway through the opening round. As the round came to a close, Gabelman had deep rear-naked choke locked in. With another minute the bantamweight could have secured victory, but the bell sounded ending the round and saving Thornton from certain defeat. During the break between the first and second rounds, the doctor examined the cut above Gabelman’s left eye.
The cut was severe enough that the doctor called a stop to the action. The look of devastation overcame the face of Gabelman adding an unnecessary loss to his record.
Now Gabelman turns his focus away from the past and towards Shields. While Shields might not be the most robust opponent that he has faced, he won’t be taking him lightly.
“As for my opponent he has a lower grade record against some suspect opponents but I can’t take him for granted,” Gabelman told BluegrassMMA. Anything can happen inside the cage, and one small mistake can be the difference between winning and losing. Gabelman is all too familiar with that.
“Anything can happen my last fight with Thornton I basically dominated the fight other than one good knee that opened up a cut which caused the fight to be stopped,” explained Gabelman.
In preparation for this weekend, the #7 ranked bantamweight according to Tapology decided not to change up his training from previous camps. “I train for every opponent the same cause anything can happen,” noted Gabelman.
Before his match-up with Thornton, Gabelman took the previous year and a half off from competing. During that time away from the cage, Gabelman accomplished a lot of his personal goals.
One of the most significant achievements was finishing school and getting certified. The equipment operator is now doing less manual labor which took a considerable toll on his body. “Before I was doing hard manual labor in construction and iron working,” revealed Gabelman.
The impact on his body affected his ability to train. That pain made training cumbersome. While he didn’t necessarily say this, the suffering could have altered his performance inside the cage. One can’t rule that out as a possibility. Not to mention the damage also impacted his ability to perform at work.
“Now I have a much less stressful career on my body that has helped my fighting career and my everyday career tremendously,” professed Gabelman.
The renewed spirit has given new life to his fighting career. “I would like to keep fighting for a few more years and see where it can take me,” Gabelman added.
As Gabelman steps back into the cage at the Radisson Hotel in Covington, Kentucky he closed out the conversation dedicating it to his team, “shout out to my team for helping me prepare and get back on track for this fight.”