There’s no doubt about it – Cody Ditchev is getting bigger. He’s bulking out. He’s becoming taller. And, most importantly of all, his reputation is growing faster than ever before.
“I’m at that age where I’m naturally putting on weight and getting bigger,” Cody explained to Tanko Management. “I was really light for a long time, but with the way I’m growing right now, it’s hard to know exactly what sort of weight I’ll end up fighting at in the future. All I can do is keep training hard, keep eating right and keep improving. When the time’s right, when I get the break, I’ll make my way into the rankings. I don’t care about the titles so much. I want to be known for being a good fighter.”
It’s safe to say Cody is going about building a reputation in Muay Thai the right way. Aside from training every day – both inside and outside Northern Spirit gym – he’s now in the process of carefully choosing fights that will help him to excel as a competitor.
“The fights I’ve had so far have been perfect for me,” Cody told us. “Every one of them has gone the distance. At this stage in my career, that’s what I need. The more experience I get, the better. Now it’s time for me to take on more fights at a bit of a faster pace.”
There aren’t many nineteen-year-olds as cheerful, disciplined and self-effacing as Cody. For many, the opening chapters of adulthood are awash with university parties. But, by his own admission, that lifestyle was never really a good fit for Cody. Growing up in a combat sports family, he saw the kind of rewards hard work in the gym could reap, and this proved to be a more appealing choice. When he first got into Muay Thai at the age of fifteen and began to take it seriously, he found himself consumed by the sport in the same way his sister had been.
“I’ve never really thought about what drove me to do it, it’s just something I got drawn into,” Cody told Tanko. “Mum never pushed me to do Muay Thai when I was really young because she was convinced I’d come back to it when I was a bit older. She was right. When I decided this was something I wanted to do, she started to chuck me in at the deep end. She’s never doubted any of us for a second.”
Of course, there’s more than a hint of Dakota in Cody and the way in which he carries himself. Both he and his sister are friendly, gentle, smiling people who inherited the combat sports bug from their mother and found themselves lured in by Muay Thai with every passing day. But that’s where the similarities end. Yes, there’s a vowel missing at the end of Cody’s surname, but the key difference between him and Dakota is their respective fight styles.
“I’m much more of a technical fighter than my sister,” Cody explained. “I’m not very aggressive either, I tend to focus on picking my shots well rather than taking a strong, forward approach. I’m a bit of an all-rounder. But it’s true we were both born to fight. Some say hard work beats natural talent. Not me. I think you’ve got it from the start.”
Despite his snowballing reputation, Cody is under no illusions that he still has much to learn about himself as a competitor.
“I’m still figuring out exactly what kind of fighter I’m going to be,” he admitted to Tanko. “I’m always watching the Thais for tips and I’d definitely love to go out there (to Thailand) one day. But right now, Reece McAllister is the fighter who I want to emulate. I’ve watched him so much and picked up a few of his tricks and combinations. I love his style and I think I suit it, to be honest. I’d like to train with him one day – I think that’d help me a lot.”
There’s no telling how far Cody will go. For the time being, he’s concerned with building a reputation in the sport. If he can earn the respect and acclaim of fighters at the top like Reece McAllister, he’ll hit the pillow every night happy with how his career turned out.