Tonight, on the undercard of an almost forgotten Bellator card, Canada's own Chris Horodecki faces perhaps the greatest challenge of his career.
For the first time, “The Polish Hammer” will go to war without “The Coach” Shawn Thompkins by his side. It will be a crucial test of the still-young Horodecki's preparation, focus, and mental toughness.
It will be hard – harder than most of us couch-riding MMA fans will ever know – to face the pressure of a big fight without the only coach and mentor you've ever known behind you.
Shawn Thompkins was a titan of the MMA world. He built his own stable of fighters based in London, Ontario, the legendary “Team Thompkins” including UFC vets Sam Stout, Mark Hominick, and Horodecki. Then he travelled abroad, training the likes of Randy Couture, Mark Coleman and Vitor Belfort. Along the way, hr became one of the principal striking coaches in the whole game.
On August 14, 2011 Thompkins passed away in his sleep, the result of a sud...