Watch for Coty “OX” Wheeler Nez Perce/Mescalero Apache

by Gerald J. Gray, Sr.
photos courtesy of Fighters In Training No Holds Bared Fight Gym

Albuquerque, New Mexico (NFIC)

“I think he can become among the tops in the world at that level..”
Coach Vaughn

Cody “Ox” Wheeler is “the one to watch” accoding to Keith Millsin in a news article interview witten and published recently in the Aubi Duabi Combat News, a worldwide Mixed Martial Arts fighting Website on the Internet. The article states Coty ‘Ox’ Wheeler who fights at 135 could be one of those to watch.

On the one hand Coty’s aggressive yet unorthodox standup style is not only exciting to watch but is a breath of fresh air in the division. On the other hand opportunities at 135 in North America are few and far between. In his last fight Coty defeated Justin Thrift, a student of UFC vet Din Thomas, by unanimous decision in Ultimate Warrior Challenge. Ox next fights on March 31st at Fight World in Albuquerque.

“From a business or promoter’s perspective Coty also has a couple angles working for him. From the human interest angle a local newspaper in Albuquerque recently ran a piece on Coty describing his troubled past in and out of jail and detox and how fighting turned his life around, an angle that has in the past drawn in readers/viewers that don’t normally follow Mixed Martial Arts (MMA.)

Coty is also of Nez Perce and Apache descent with very strong family support, an angle that could well work to his advantage if he were to fight for instance in Japan where image is more important than in North America. The bottom line is remember the name Coty “Ox” Wheeler as this won’t be the last time you hear about him this year.”

“Ox” Wheeler, like many Native American youth and youth from any other nationalities, got into mischief and trouble as an adolescent but for the past six years, the 28-year-old Wheeler has been clean, sober and on a mission to make up for his years of tribulation. “I got into mischief and trouble,” says Wheeler “but I decided to turn my life around and make something of myself. If I can do this, so can any other Native American youngster and I will do whatever I can to help those young people make better decisions than what I did as an adolescent and young adult.”

A full-blooded Native American with Nez Perce and Mescalero Apache roots, Wheeler turned to the gym to help him find a new life path. And now he’s turned into a top-notch mixed-martial arts fighter looking to continue what is becoming a growing New Mexico tradition in the sport.

Wheeler has recently turned “Pro” as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter. Martial Arts consists of “Cage Fighting” which is full contact fighting and involves boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai kick boxing, submission grappling, etc. His amature fighting record stands at 8 wins with only 1 loss in his entire amature career.

“I lost my very first amature MMA fight at 145 lbs., says Wheeler. “I weighted in at 135 and my opponent weighted in a 145 lbs. I had to give away 10 lbs. and step up in weight from my normal 135 to 145 because my originally schedule opponent did not show up for the match. I did fight and defeat the opponent that did not show for the first fight in my second amature fight. I’m kind of glad I lost that fight because it made me more hungry, to want it even more.” Coty’s amature record broken into fighting categories is: 4-0 Kick Boxing; 1-0 Muay Thai; and 8-1 in Mixed Martial Arts, for a total of 13-1 amature fights.

Coty’s pro record thus far stands at 3-0 in Cage Fighting, making an overall record of 16-1.

“They have a 135 belt in World Extreme Cage Fighting (WEC) and it is one of my goals down the road to get a belt and become a champion in some organization,” said Wheeler. WEC can be found on Versus Channel.

Cody trains five to six days a week for about two to four hours a day. The year he fought the main event on May 5, 2007, at the Cinco De Whoop Ass event in Albuqerque, New Mexico. web-site reported “fighter “Ox” Wheeler was in top form Saturday night for the main event. Wheeler entered the ring with style looking as though he was headed to a wedding.

The flamboyant fighter also brandishing a bright red hairdo played to the crowd in attendance. All this hoopla doesn’t mean much if you can’t back it up but Wheeler definitely backed it up. Jeremy Keraby from Washington, D.C. did not make the trip to be just an opponent. Keraby tested Wheeler and proved to be one tough SOB. Although this fight did not make it out of the first, Wheeler was surely tested. Keraby sustained a popped elbow due to a Wheeler armbar and ultimately a hyper-extended knee joint before succumbing to Wheeler.

For Wheeler it was not a walk in the park by any means admitting after the fight that he expended a lot of energy trying to submit Keraby with a arm triangle early in the fight. As many in the crowd watched in amazement as Wheeler trapped Keraby in one submission after another only to have the tough D.C. fighter refuse to tap. Wheeler would eventually prevail slipping into a tight knee bar submission that popped before Keraby would tap. Wheeler by way of knee bar in the first round. Hopefully we will see more of Keraby in the future at Fightworld. He is no doubt a gamer.”

In Jacksonville, Florida, at the Ultimate Worrior Challegne, Coty beat Justin Thrift out of Din Thomas’ (Ultimate Fighting Challenge Vetran) school. Justin was undefeated in Florida until Wheeler put a stop to his winning streak. Wheeler has fought in such places as Denver and Vail, Colorado; Las Cruces and Albuquerque, New Mexico; Jacksonville, Florida, and El Paso Texas.

The next scheduled event for Wheeler was at “Rumble At Route 66 Casino,” a Laguna Pueblo tribal owned casino, located 20 miles West of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and promoted by Cage Life Productions, a Native American owned company. Coty was featured as the co-main event, on the all professional Cage Fighting Card on July 28, 2007.

In a March 2007 news article in the Albuquerque Journal, the article states:

“A rather diminutive 5-foot-7, 135 pounds, Wheeler is a natural scrapper with tremendous potential, says his trainer, Tom Vaughn.

‘I think he can become among the tops in the world at that level,’ he says. ‘He’s focused. He’s totally committed. When he’s got a fight coming up, he always does what he’s supposed to do. Anytime you have that mental focus, it manifests itself in your everyday life. He’s upbeat, he’s lively and he’s a great guy to work with.’

Vaughn says he could see that special something in Wheeler almost from the beginning.

‘I can usually spot somebody that has that will, that certain something,’ Vaughn says. ‘He had that fighter’s mentality from the beginning. He didn’t quit, even when he was sparring.’

A baseball, football and basketball player in high school, Wheeler has a tattoo on his right shoulder of a little Scooby-Doo cartoon character, cradling a basketball.

‘I was a point guard all the way,’ Wheeler says. ‘I loved basketball and I still do, but fighting is my passion now.’

Cody punctuates each victory with a victory war dance and finishes it off by getting on one knee, string an imaginary arrow through a bow and firing it at his victim.”

Mixed Martial Arts fighting organizations in Japan, Hawaii and Canada, as well as many in the U. S., are working on getting Wheeler to fight opponents from the countries and from various areas in the United States.

Be on the lookout for the live show on September 5th, 2007, on the TV Versus Channel at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas, Nevada, which will feature Coty “Ox” Wheeler in his first live televised event.

Coty has just recently signed a four (4) fight contract with the World Extreme Cage Fighting (WEC).

Inside the fighter with a natual fighting instinc, Coty has a very gentle demeanor, a heart of gold, is very generous, will do anything for anybody he meets, and has a very genuine understanding, love and respect for people. He likes to quote Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce:

“Treat all men alike. Give them all the same law. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers...”
– Chief Joseph

(Speaking in Washington on Jan 14, 1879.)

Cody is also a college student and will be the first one of his family to graduate with a bachelors degree from college.

Coty is in need of sponsors so he can continue his quest for a World Extreme Cage Fighting Championship Belt.

If any Casinos, organizations, tribes or individuals are interested in sponsoring Mr. Wheeler, please contact Mr. Tom Vaughn, coach of the Fighters In Training No Holds Bared Fight Gym (FIT-NHB) at: (505) 833-3351 or Coty Wheeler at (505) 280-0833 or www.myspace/ or leave a message at (505) 843-8113.