Local Fighters

HORODECKI DEFEATS DOWNES AT WEC 49

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Here is the recap on Dan Downes fight from Frank Curreri at WEC.TV.

Moral victories tend to have little worth in professional sports, but the losing effort of Wisconsin’s Dan Downes offers yet another strong counterargument to that norm. Based on first impressions of his lanky, pear-shaped frame, as the young Irish-American walked into the cage he appeared to be the human equivalent of chum about to be served to a frenzy of sharks (or in this case, his opponent, former International Fight League champion Chris Horodecki). Sure enough, Horodecki had his way with the Marquette University college graduate from the opening horn, scoring a takedown and locking in a deep guillotine choke. Downes, who had taken the fight on just a few days’ notice as a replacement for Ed Ratcliff, fought off the oxygen deficit for a long time before escaping. With thousands of his fellow Canadians spurring him on, Horodecki earned another takedown and “Danny Boy” showed his grit and determination once more by fighting off a rear naked choke attempt.

In the second stanza, Horodecki, a noted Muay Thai specialist under Shawn Tompkins, reverted to his bread and butter attacks. He wasted no time tagging Downes with a 1-2 combination to the face and followed that up with a knee to the face. Downes, perhaps due to the ridiculously abbreviated training camp, seemed to be winded and fighting back on fumes. Yet he stubbornly kept charging forward and winging punches that had little steam on them. On three different occasions in the fight Horodecki had landed spinning back kicks that wowed the crowd but did nothing to stop his flat-footed foe from coming forward.

Horodecki racked Downes with a high kick, clipped him with an uppercut and a 1-2 combination to the head and body. And Downes slowed down but never folded. Unfortunately for the former U.S. Secret Service intern, well-applied chokeholds trump toughness. As the late great Helio Gracie declared, the choke is the best maneuver in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, precisely for the aforementioned reason. And so Downes had met his match in the third stanza when Horodecki took him down and sunk in a rear naked choke. Finally, 1 minute and was 9 seconds into the round, “Danny Boy” was forced to concede defeat and tap out.

It was the first loss of Downes’ career after six straight wins, but his stock probably rose in defeat. He certainly earned the respect of Horodecki.

“Danny is super-tough. He’s a tough, tough Irish kid.” Horodecki said. “Thank you for stepping up to the plate … Hat’s off to him.”

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