Chirs Cocores had a game plan, but as soon as that first punch landed it went out the window.
His opponent hit like a truck, but then again so did Cocores — probably why the two MMA fighters were matched up in a WFC fight this past Friday in Reno. As both fighters landed heavy blow after blow it became apparent that the win would come down to endurance, cardio training and, most of all, heart.
“I got hit with that punch and all that kept going through my mind was to keep pushing forward. I was kind of hanging on by a thread,” Cocores said, “but I just wasn’t going to stop until something physically made me.”
The South Shore fighter drove forward, ignoring the numbness he was starting to feel in his limbs from the hits and physical exhaustion. He was going to see this fight through or get knocked out trying.
“I just kept driving forward no matter what. No matter blood, no matter how tired I was,” Cocores said. “I just kept telling myself I’m going to continue to push forward.”
Going into the fight, Cocores and the Sierra Adrenaline training camp knew their opponent was going to be a brawler. Chris Nolasco, an independent fighter, hit hard and had finished his last fight in 12 seconds. Cocores, who had finished all three of his previous fights in the first round, was also the kind of guy who came out swinging hard and fast.
Although evenly matched, Cocores was hoping technique would swing the fight in his favor.
“Our game plan was to use my technicality to try and beat him,” Cocores said. “But basically in the first round I got hit with a punch and kind of lost my composure. I ended up playing his game and brawling with him too much.”
Cardio and heart were now what would separate the two fighters.
“This guy, you could hit him a million times and he’d just keep coming forward,” Cocores said. “He had a lot of heart.”
But so did Cocores, more than Nolasco or the audience were expecting after that first blow.
In the end, there were no fancy holds or chokes. Cocores knows them all, but this fight came down to ground and pound.
Cocores finally landed a punch that rocked Nolasco off his feet. He then mounted him and punched until the referee called it. The fight was Cocores’ toughest win, but it was a win by TKO, 2:15 into Round 2.
The South Shore fighter is now 3-1, and will continue his push for a title fight.
“Basically, I’m going to get back in the gym and gather my thoughts. I need to figure out what I need to do next time to not lose my composure,” Cocores said. “If I had stayed technical, I would have been able to beat him a lot quicker. My coach has tons of notes for me to work on, and we basically plan on moving forward and hopefully I’ll get a title fight next time.”