Cody Abbott is stepping into uncharted territory.
Abbott, a 24-year-old MMA fighter from Logan, will soon be testing the professional waters inside the steel cage as he is preparing for his first pro bout, set for June 15 in a New Line Cagefighting event at the Williamson Fieldhouse.
Abbott is no stranger, however, to MMA.
As an amateur he sported a 5-1 record, including four first-round wins and was ranked No. 1 in the state for three plus years in his bantamweight class (126-135 pounds). He's currently ranked 23rd in the East Coast Division.
Abbott, a Logan High School graduate and former all-state wrestler for the Wildcats and also an amateur youth boxer in his teens, last saw MMA action back on March 9 at Williamson when he beat Matthew Tennant, a No. 2-ranked fighter in West Virginia, via decision.
"I've been into MMA since I was a little kid, that's why I got into wrestling in high school," Abbott said. "I used to watch Rocky Balboa and the Rocky movies and that's what got me into it. I had 15 amateur bouts as a boxer."
Abbott said many people have helped him in his training.
"I train at Carlos Turner's in Logan and some of my main training partners include pro MMA fighter Matthew Baccus, Joshua Blair, a multi-time Toughman boxing champion and Caleb Browning, also a former Logan High wrestler. All have helped and helped me prepare for all of the fights. I'm also starting to train at Ground Zero in Morgantown."
In amateur MMA matches it's usually comprised of three two-minute rounds. At the professional level it's stepped up to three five-minute rounds.
Abbott is set to fight Kobi Scott of Winchester, Virginia in his professional debut and he said he's been stepping up his training.
"I train four or five times a week and one to two times a day. I'm going to try to step it up," he said. "MMA is more like a sprint within boxing. You go full blast the whole time."
Abbott said the nerves really don't get to him once he steps into the cage.
"You really don't get nervous when you are fighting. You get more nervous when you get in front of people," he said.
MMA is a blend many disciplines including boxing, wrestling and kick boxing.
"You are allowed to kick, wrestle, use submissions and box," Abbott said. "I've had a lot of injuries in training but I've never had any inside the ring."
Abbott said it will be great to be able to make his pro debut in his home of southern West Virginia.
"That's what made me go ahead and turn pro. I was hesitating but where it was so close by I decided to do it," he said.
New Line Cagefighting was founded in July 2018 by Greg Robinson and Keith Noe, a Logan High School graduate and current head coach of the Logan High School girls' soccer team.
New Line Cagefighting (NLC) is a company of KG Promotions, LLC.
According to its website, NLC has a vision to enhance the fight business and offer the most exciting sporting events for fans and viewers across West Virginia and the rest of the region.
NLC strives to uphold the value of the sport and its fighters.
"We have the goal of expanding and showcasing the personality and showmanship that makes MMA the most exciting sport in the world," the website says in its mission statement.
The Williamson event on June 15 has a 7:30 p.m. bell time.
In other professional bouts on the card: Austin Marcum of Breeden is slated to fight an undetermined foe and Jeremy Lane of Clendenin is set to fight against Sam Warren of Roanake, Virginia, formerly of Williamson.
As of last week, seven amateur MMA bouts are on the card.
Brandon Boggs of Madison squares off with Eric Blankenship of Chapmanville.
Elijah Thacker of Pikeville, Kentucky, faces off with Travis Bender of Madison.
Ali Capobianco, Jr. of Parkersburg is set to fight against RJ Elam II of Beckley.
Madison native Chase Thompson is matched up against Austin Baker of Chapmanville.
Adam Dingess, also of Chapmanville, is slated to fight Nicholas Fisher of Roanoke, Virginia.
Randall Maynard of Logan is matched up against Jonathan Rowh of Fairmont.
Also, hometown fighter Ronnie White of Williamson is scheduled to fight Kraig Ellis of Dingess.
Eighteen bouts were on the card in the March 9 debut event.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.