Month: July 2022

NTT’s Chovancek and Popowick-Bastien Victorious at BTC 16

NTT's Chovancek and Popowick-Bastien Victorious at BTC 16
Cody Chovancek BTC 16

By Brian Appel

What a night of fights in Burlington last night!

It was the first of the BTC Challenger Series, and it did not disappoint.

Cody Chovancek was the main event and what a fight it was.

This was a high action, high pace bout that allowed Cody to display how well rounded he is. Cody attacked the lead leg of his opponent early in the first round and remained super defensively responsible as his opponent was moving forward throwing huge shots. As Cody gained an advantage on the feet his opponent began to shoot in for takedowns. Cody made defending them look easy scoring a takedown of his own more times than not. Cody’s opponent is known as a submission artist and every attempt he made Cody was already a step ahead shutting down the attempt early on, including a massive slam late in the second as his opponent was looking for what appeared to be a standing guillotine. Headed into the third Cody was clearly up 2 rounds and the third was no different. Cody was absolutely dominant against a tough opponent and took the UD 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

KPop BTC 16

Kevin Popowick-Bastien put on a performance that was as close to perfect as you can get. He pressured his opponent while maintaining his own range. He showcased his ability to get in land some big shots and get right back out again receiving little to no damage. Kevin was able to get his opponent to the ground where he quickly made his way to the back and relentlessly attacked for a finish which eventually came at 4:08 of the first round, RNC finish. HARD WORK!

Luke Roberts was supposed to fight as well, made weight and was ready to rock. Unfortunately 10am fight day he found out his opponent pulled out.

Cody Chovancek Leads NTT Fighters Into Battle At BTC 16 Challenger Series 1

Cody Chovancek - Photo by Andy Cotterill
Cody Chovancek Leads NTT Fighters Into Battle At BTC 16 Challenger Series 1

Niagara Top Team’s Cody Chovancek is in a position that would be enviable to any seasoned mixed martial artist, let alone one so young.

The 23-year-old Featherweight will be competing at BTC 16 ‘Challenger Series 1’ on Saturday night as one half of the main event fight, where he an opponent Jake Geauvreau will be pitting their matching 2-0 professional records against the other, with only one of them emerging still undefeated.

One might look at this matchup between two highly touted up-and-comers and wonder if this pairing might be a bit too early in their careers, but BTC matchmaker Rob Veevers explained the rationale.

“When we added the two Challenger Series cards to our schedule this year, the purpose was to provide additional opportunity to the lower record athletes. The focus was on athletes with roughly 4-5 fights or less.

Cody versus Jake was a fight I tried to put together on BTC 14 but one of the teams wasn’t ready for the match up at the time. At BTC 15 during Cody’s post fight interview he called Jake out. Here we have two of the brightest prospects in Canada going head to head. It was instantly a great main event for the Challenger Series. These two guys deserve the spot light and I think we’re all in for a treat July 9th in Burlington.”

Chovancek, for one, is thrilled to have the opportunity.

“That’s awesome to hear Rob say that, that’s really cool, and I’m just as excited as he is on that one.” Chovancek stated. “It’s a huge honour to be in the main event in only my third pro fight with so many talented guys on the card.”

He explains the reason why he called out Geauvreau during that interview.

“I was supposed to fight him for my pro debut and my second fight. The first time I signed and he pulled out to injury and I don’t know what happened the second time whether they just said no or not. He didn’t have any amateur fights, he went straight into Pro, so that says something right there. That takes balls in itself. It’s nothing but respect for him. But this is the fight…that’s why I called him out. This is the fight to make happen. We’re both 2 and 0. There’s a reason why it’s main event. We both have a 100% finish rating so it’s gonna be a big fight. I’m excited for it.”

Chovancek acknowledged that in order for him to best display his skill he needs an opponent that can push him…beating up a tomato can doesn’t even look good on paper to those that know.

“I think this fight is a perfect fight to showcase my skillset and to show how good I am in all martial arts; wrestling, jiu jitsu, striking. He’s a well rounded fighter and I’m a well rounded fighter so it’s gonna be a good fight. This is a fight that really gets me up and ready to go out of bed in the morning, you know, and it fires me up. I’ve just been thinking about this fight nonstop. It’s gonna be huge for my career.”

In addition to this fight Chovancek should be excited. Away from the main-event cage under the spotlight he spends every day surrounded by the people and the environment that he feels will help him attain his ultimate goal of competing inside of a top-tier fight promotion like Bellator, the UFC, or ONE.

Those people and that environment are known collectively as Niagara Top Team.

“I don’t know what I would do without this gym to be honest.” Chovancek said.

“I think it’s grown me exponentially as a fighter being with all these other high level fighters and guys that are like-minded and just as motivated as I am to be the best and to get as much out of this sport as we can. And that’s what Chris (Coach Chris Prickett) says all the time, he’s like, ‘You’re gonna reach your full potential if you’re all in instead of being half in and half out like some guys.’ and this gym really helps you do that.”

For this fight Chovancek feels especially prepared, as an influx of great sponsors has allowed him the privilege of a full fight camp without having to work construction at the same time.

“Other fight camps I’ve had to do carpentry full time and then train full time too, so that was a major stressor. This time I was able to focus 100% on my training and it’s made a huge difference. I’m fully committed and it feels good.”

At BTC 16 Chovancek will be joined by his NTT Teammates Kevin Popowick-Bastien who will be taking on Charles Azoulay, and Luke Roberts, who is matched up with Nicky Heinrichs.

Will the three of them be able to make this weekend yet another NTT clean sweep?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see, but regardless of the outcome, Niagara Top Team has seen them train with 100% focus and intensity every day, every week, and every month, and we’re proud of what they’ve accomplished in their own personal fighter journey.

BTC 16 ‘Challenger Series 1’ takes place on Saturday July 9th 2022 in Burlington, Ontario. If you’d like to support our athletes there will be tickets available at the door, or you can buy the online HERE.

Cody Chovancek is sponsored by: Proactive Specialized Logistics, Pete Smith Crane, Niagara Fish Assassins, Dr. Faisal Rehman, Judy Jewels, Let’s End MS, DLB Electric, Durston Construction, USG Gear