Corey Gower, a veteran of MFC and KOTC, has been readying for battle against Craig Shintani at Havoc FC 14 in Red Deer, AB. The fight for the HFC lightweight title goes on Friday, November 22nd. Gower vs Shintani is one of many fun fights slated to be broadcast on FITE TV. The amateur and professional MMA bouts will emanate from Cambridge Inn and Suites. This is a huge chance for Gower as he vies for another HFC championship belt and is doing so by jumping up multiple weight divisions.
Gower overcame a lot of adversity to get to this spot. He had taken multiple defeats at bantamweight across three different promotions. It wasn’t until November 2018 that he got back on track and captured the HFC bantamweight championship in the process. Speaking to Cageside Press, Gower stated, “Wins feel better than losses obviously. 2017 wasn’t really my year after three back-to-back losses. It was really good actually getting that shot off of three losses.”
That Havoc FC 13 victory over Rick Pfeifer also marked his first career submission win. When asked about this about this, Gower explained that “I never really believed in my submissions as much. Even though I get them in the gym all the time. Usually in fights I go back to what I know. The kickboxing and ground and pound. If he leaves me his neck I’ll try to take it.”
Havoc FC 14 title fight
Now one year later at the next Havoc FC event, Gower once again prepares to step into the cage. A lot has changed since The Hatchet last entered the cage. For starters, Gower is preparing to fight a well regarded opponent two weight classes higher than he ordinarily competes.
Asked for his assessment of Craig Shintani, Gower stated, “I think it’s a good fight for both of us. It’s going to be an exciting fight. He brings a lot of things to the table that I like. He’s aggressive, he likes to bang. He’s probably going to be pressing for the takedown. Nice not having to cut down to 135 as well.”
Gower has noticed a lot of changes from preparing for an HFC bantamweight title fight versus vying for the promotion’s lightweight title. “A lot of strength differences obviously,” he said. “I’m not cutting so much weight and draining. I cut a lot of weight to make 135. I’m getting older too so I don’t know how many fights at 135 I’m going to be taking. 155 I feel a lot stronger. My punching power is definitely a lot higher.”
Training with a UFC Champion
His preparations for this bout brought him out of a chilly Red Deer and took him to a much more favorably warm training location.
“I’m actually training with Max Holloway and Yancy Medeiros. I’m in Hawaii right now so training with some of the top-level guys,” Gower revealed in advance of the fight. “I trained there in 2017. I did a five-week camp out here. So I’m pretty familiar with the guys. Last time I was here I was fighting at 135 and my weight was way down. I think I was like 148. Now I’m about 170. I feel way better.”
After Gower won the Havoc FC bantamweight belt last year, he got the opportunity to visit some local school kids. The class was taught by his cousin and to impart some knowledge on the local kids has been something Gower has long wanted to do.
Corey Gower revealed that “I’ve always wanted to do something like that. Talk in front of an assembly of kids…..It was really neat getting to connect with the kids. Have them ask me a whole bunch of questions about my experience fighting. They actually had a lot of information on me.”
Listen to our full interview with Corey Gower above!