Alden “Cobra” Coria (3-0) is always ready to answer the call.
The last time he did so, Coria was set to fight on nine days’ notice in Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA) against fellow prospect Calvin Harbaugh at LFA 90. The timing could not have been more perfect, as Coria was already preparing for a fight — he just didn’t know who it would be against.
“It really just came together out of nowhere, honestly,” Coria told MMA-Prospects. “My manager Jason House got it for me on a nine-day notice and he knew I was training pretty much like I did have a fight coming up. That’s usually how I train out of my gym, anyway. We’re always in the gym getting better and keeping each other in check because we all want to get to the next level, so we’re just staying as busy as we can.”
Preparation did not change much despite Coria now having a time, date, and opponent to look forward to. Sure, the focus was going to be on Harbaugh and what he could do, but Coria was planning on doing what he does best anyway.
“I pretty much just went in there with the intentions of doing whatever came to hand, really,” said Coria. “I was ready to strike and I was ready to go to the ground as well because I knew he was a ground guy and I never saw anything striking wise from him, so I was kind of trying to look forward to striking with him a little bit but he didn’t have those plans with me.”
Once the fight started, Harbaugh immediately shot in for a takedown and got Coria on his back. Harbaugh wasted no time looking for submissions, but Coria maneuvered his way out of each attempt and eventually reversed the position. Harbaugh tried to get up, but Coria was stuck to his back like glue and looked for a submission of his own. He found one, as he wrapped up a rear-naked choke that forced Harbaugh to tap just a few minutes into the fight.
Coming in on short-notice and putting on an impressive performance like that should keep Coria around in LFA, and he hopes they feel the same way.
“I’d hope so. [LFA commentator and UFC Hall of Famer] Pat Miletich talked to me after the fight and asked me who I was looking forward to fighting next, so I’m really hoping that they have me back. As of now, we don’t have anything planned.”
Some parting advice Miletich gave to Coria after his fight was to keep an eye out for any name he wound want to go after next. He does not have a name yet, but he knows it will not be limited to one weight class.
Since the beginning of his career, Coria has competed in the flyweight division in promotions such as Cage Combat and Fury Fighting Championship. He would make trips up to the bantamweight division, but those were more of a rare occurrence than a permanent jump. His fight against Harbaugh marked one of the few times he has competed at 135 pounds, and according to Coria, it will not be the last.
In fact, he hopes to alternate between the flyweight and bantamweight divisions.
“I’d like to fight at both weights, honestly,” said Coria. “I mean, I’d fight for the ’25 belt and the ’35 belt. The only issue I had with fighting at ’35 this time was I didn’t have a full camp, so I knew I wasn’t going to be as strong as him. I had to use more technique and use more of my brains to get the finish.
“I think I can do it. I don’t really have an issue. I never have a problem cutting to 25 and I usually never have a problem with wrestling with bigger guys or anything like that. As long as I am in shape, I don’t think I’ll have an issue bouncing back and forth.”
Now a few weeks removed from his successful promotional debut under the LFA banner, Coria is back to work. Training out of 4oz. Fight Club in Houston, Texas, Coria surrounds himself with some of the best talent in mixed martial arts such as UFC featherweight Daniel Pineda and ONE Championship strawweight Bi Nguyen.
Under their tutelage and guidance, Coria has accomplished a lot of the goals he set for himself when he first got involved in the sport between the ages of 12 and 13. He thrived as an undefeated prospect, picking up his first championship at just 19 years old and working towards making a name for himself on the regional scene.
He could not be more grateful for the impact his teammates and coaches have had on his life thus far.
“It kind of affected my mentality, really,” said Coria. “I knew I wanted to be better, so I had to be comfortable with being uncomfortable all the time. I train with some top prospects like Johnathan Davis, Daniel Pineda in the UFC — he just came off a big victory over Herbert Burns — so, I mean, training with them, I knew gold was gonna come, but I knew I had to keep my head straight; just keep my head down and keep working as hard as I can because that’s what all the champions are really doing.”
When it comes to the many lessons he has learned from his team, there is one that sticks out the most to Coria.
“What they have taught me is fail a lot in the gym, so you can succeed in the cage. You go to the gym to pretty much fail all the time so you can get better. That’s really what I’ve taken from the ten years that I’ve been with Daniel Pineda. He’s really made me into the fighter that I am today. They usually call me “Baby Pit” because I kind of take some of his tricks and use them as mine, so I really love to work at this gym.”
As his work continues, Coria envisions himself alongside his teammates in some of the world’s most premiere promotions. The road to these promotions are different for every prospect, which is exactly why Coria is keeping his options open.
If a call came in to fight on UFC President Dana White’s Contender Series, then Coria is there. If the call came to fight on short-notice for Bellator, then he is there. Whatever way Coria can make it to the big leagues, you better believe he is jumping at the opportunity to do it.
“That is something that I have my eyes set on, but I would want to travel the world and fight for different promotions,” said Coria. “I’d be fine with going to ONE or Bellator, but UFC is one of the top ones. Fighting for Dana White, I think I’ll be there within the next year or two. I just need a few more fights. And you said how I always have a cancelation on bouts, so that’s something to take into account as well. It usually takes too long to get me fights. At one point, I think I was training for about 6 months as if I was in fight camp.”
“I’m just ready.”