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Chris Honeycutt Discusses Bellator 140, Roots In The East, Cali Love, And More In This Interview With MMA Latest

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On July 17th, Bellator 140 will host a series of 5 welterweight bouts on the main card to determine who gets the next shot at the title. Chris Honeycutt is set to take part in a night filled with title implications by facing Paul Bradley in the co main event on Spike.

As he prepares for his biggest fight yet, I spoke with a highly confident, and relaxed Honeycutt:

MMALatest News: First off, congratulations on making the co main event headline!

“Yeah, that’s awesome! I’m pretty stoked for that.”

Chris, I have to ask you, as a fellow California native, how have you been liking it out here?

I like California! I mean it’s hard that it’s far away from my home. My girlfriend moved out here, and I met her in college in Pennsylvania, and we lived about 10 miles away from Edinboro, so it’s the first time she’s moved far away from home, so it’s hard on her. But other then being away from our families, through thousands of miles, I love it out here! Weather is nice and I do not miss it… no, by any means. I will sit outside with my shirt off in 60 degrees, 40 degree weather because I’m used to being in -10, or – 20 with 3 feet of snow.

How has preparation been in your camp?

“Oh this camp has been the best camp yet! My weight has never been so under control and my body is really, really adapting. And it’s just been getting super, super hard. I mean my cardio, for the most part, (preparation has been) cardio camp, so I mean, as far as my conditioning goes, I am ready. I can probably fight a title fight right now. And now that my camp is over and I’ve had a couple of days to let my body heal a little bit, I’ve been looking really sharp.

“Then the real question is: “How long will I have the belt?” “Am I going to go a whole decade, or am I going to go for 5 years?””

Great, and speaking of your camp: Whats the atmosphere been like at the gym when it was announced that Josh Koscheck got signed?

“That’s great. I’m happy for Josh! He’s obviously is coming to Bellator. It’s like perfect timing right? I’m thankful that I came to Bellator, I mean that’s awesome! I’m glad they gave me the opportunity and I’m very happy to be with Bellator, and you know it’s good to have Koscheck in the same camp. He’s not in camp right now, so he’s a coach to me. When he’s in camp, we’re kind of like teammates. Actually, I’m the only person in camp that was next for a fight, so I had the whole gym totally behind me on all my needs. They were all fresh bodies, and they were all rotating on me, so you know it was a hard camp, but it’s necessary for the possibilities that (could) go down Friday.”

Koscheck stated in an interview that he watches his and your career closely. What does that mean to you? 

Well, we kind of have that relationship. I didn’t know Josh from college, but we both had Tim Flynn as our college wrestling coach.He has the same work ethic, and the mentality of how you bring success; and we got that through the same coach. So we both have the same outlook on what it takes. That’s what drives me.

He did all the hard work. I’m basically skipping steps because he already put in all the work, and I just take what he says, and I run with it. In between him and my boxing coach Marcos, my muay thai coach, and my teamates… we’re all getting better from one another. We’re all going to excel as a gym, but yeah, having Josh go out in an interview and say “I focus on his career and mine,” I care just as much about his career as I do mine. It means a lot.

The entire card  on July 17th is lined up with top welterweights, and you being in the co-main event, do you feel that with a win you’re next in line for a title shot? 

Yeah, I’m not gonna assume anything, but my personal opinion: I think it depends on performance. You know if it’s a dog fight and it goes back and fourth, and when I win either by tko or decision, you know it’s all about the performance. If I got out there and just totally smash him and I do what I plan on doing; then why wouldn’t I get a title shot? But at the same time, I’m not thinking about that. I’ll let my managers and Scott Coker decide if it’s my time (now,) or if it’s my next fight, or the one after, or the one after that. All I know is eventually I’ll have it, and I’ll have the belt.Then the real question is: “How long will I have the belt?” Am I gonna go a whole decade, or am I gonna go 5 years? I can see how people say I get the title shot, just because if it wasn’t for the title fight in this event, I would be the main event. I’m just gonna go out there, and win my fight, and make it obviously known that I deserve that title shot. And if it’s not this next one, then it’s the one after.

What were your thoughts on Paul Bradley’s performance at Bellator 129?

I watch film, so I could get a good visual of who I’ll be facing. I try not to think too much about what their going to do. I think what am I going to do. I’m trying to remember if I already watched his last fight or not. Do you remember who he fought last?

It was Josh Neer.

So didn’t he take him down, and just hold him down? And didn’t he end up grinding him out?

I believe it was a unanimous decision win.

Yeah, he just held him down the whole time. And why wouldn’t Paul do that if Neer won’t put the effort to stand up? because he’s wanting to try and play the jiu jitsu game. A lot of jiu jitsu people fall into that. They’re comfortable being on their back because that’s what jiu jitsu is, but in a fight when you’re on your back, you’re losing. You should be trying to get up, or reverse, or something.

There’s really not much to learn from that except that Paul doesn’t really put himself out there to beat you up. He only tends to punch you when you’re trying to get up. He fought at Bellator 129 you said? He’s had a longer break, so I have the advantage. My last fight was more recent.

Do you feel nervous not fighting in your adopted home town?

If anything I’m going to feel like I’m even more at home! I spent two years on the west side of Boston in North Andover, which is only about an hour and 20 minutes away from the Mohegan Sun. For two of my four years of high school I was in Cleveland. And I spent 5 years in Pennsylvania which is 5 or 6 hours away (from Mohegan sun.) So I have hundreds of people coming to watch me fight. I’m going to feel more at home there.

Obviously Fresno is my home now. This is where the setting stone of my mixed martial arts career started. Fresno has opened up to me with open arms and they support me, but I have big roots back east. I look forward to putting on a great show for all my friends, family and fans; and I’m just looking forward to it. So no.

Last question: Who do you thinks going to win between champion D. Lima and A. Koreshkov?

I have no idea, I just hope I can get in the back and put my four piece suit on before it starts, so I can watch it. I’ll tell you what though, I’ll be DVR-ing this card on my TV. What a learning experience. I could just go back and watch my weight class drill and drill. I’ll be able to really pin point  my performance amongst everyone else. It’ll be a confidence booster.

I want to give a special thanks to Chris Honeycutt for speaking with us. You can follow him on twitter @ChrisTheCutt

 

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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Bellator 185 Fight to Watch: Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

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Heather Hardy will compete in MMA for the second time at Bellator 185 on Friday night, as she faces Kristina Williams in a strawweight contest. The fight takes place on the main card at the Mohican Sun Arena in Connecticut.

Potentially, what Bellator have in Heather ‘The Heat’ Hardy is a major draw that they can build their 125 pound division around. While relatively new to the organisation she is fast becoming one of the more popular names on the roster. Her career is in the early stages, but many have already started to draw comparisons with former boxer turned MMA star, Holly Holm. Holm’s UFC success partly inspired the native New Yorker to make the switch from boxing.

Hardy is already an established world champion in the land of the ‘sweet science’, holding a 21 fight undefeated professional record. She made her MMA debut in June this year with a victory over Alice Yauger, at Bellator 180. At 35, Hardy is a late starter in the sport, but proved at Madison Square Garden against the credible Yauger that she has a bright future.

Hardy’s first outing in the cage was disciplined and composed. Despite a slow start in round one, Hardy grew in confidence as the fight progressed and her cardio never faltered. She mixed in plenty of kicks that complimented her boxing and looked at ease in the clinch, even defending a couple of takedown attempts in the process.

Despite looking on course for a decision win, Hardy forced the TKO stoppage with just thirteen seconds remaining in round three. Even a large cut that required seven stitches from an accidental head clash could not deny her victory.

Hardy was fighting an experienced professional, competing for the tenth time in MMA, which makes the win over Yauger more impressive. However, her upcoming opponent Kristina Williams will be making her professional debut.

There is little known about Williams except that she is 3-0 at amateur level. One of those wins came by way of submission so there may well be a threat to Hardy if the fight goes to the ground. More importantly for Williams is how she copes on the big stage against a popular opponent, who is more familiar competing in high pressure combat situations. If Williams can produce an upset it will be a huge boost in her young career.

But in all honesty, this fight is about Hardy. It’s about getting the win and gaining valuable experience. The boxing career is on hold while MMA takes centre stage. Beating Williams will mean she likely continues fighting inside a cage rather than a boxing ring.

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Bellator 185- How to Watch, Times and Fight Card

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Bellator is once again heading to Mohegan Sun in Uncasville Connecticut, and this time they are bringing with them one of the most anticipated former UFC fighter turned Bellator stars’ debut. Gegard Mousasi will be making his first appearance in the Bellator cage against a former Bellator champion in Alexander Shlemenko. Although this event has lost some of its star power over the last several weeks, it is still stacked and you can bet that the main event will bring some fireworks.

Earlier in the month, it was announced that King Mo had suffered an injury that had forced him out of his co-main event fight with former middleweight champion Liam McGeary. Bellator worked quickly to secure a replacement opponent for McGeary in Bubba McDaniels. Unfortunately for McDaniels and the fans alike, McGeary had later suffered an injury of his own and the fight was removed from the card.

This left a spot open in the co-main event slot, which would be filled by a welterweight matchup between Brennan Ward and David Rickels. Just four days out from the fight, Bellator announced that Ward had also become injured and the fight has been removed from the card as well. The main card has been shuffled around and the welterweight bout between Neiman Gracie and Zak Bucia will now serve as the co-main event.

Main Card- Spike TV (US/Canada) Spike UK (UK)- 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT, 2 pm UK

  • Middleweight Main Event: Gegard Mousasi (42-6-2) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (56-9, 1 NC)
  • Welterweight Feature Bout: Neiman Gracie (6-0) vs. Zak Bucia (18-8)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Heather Hardy (1-0) vs. Kristina Williams (Debut)
  • Lightweight Feature Bout: Ryan Quinn (13-7) vs. Marcus Surin (4-0)
  • Women’s Flyweight Feature Bout: Ana Julaton (2-2) vs. Lisa Blaine (1-0)

Preliminary Card- Live Stream (MMA Latest New)- 7 pm EDT, 4 pm PDT, 12 pm UK

  • 195 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Jordan Young (6-0) vs. Alec Hooben (5-3)
  • Middleweight Preliminary Bout: Costello van Steenis (8-1) vs. Steve Skrzat (8-9)
  • Welterweight Preliminary Bout: Vinicius de Jesus (5-1) vs. Joaquin Buckley (7-1)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: John Beneduce (2-1) vs. Dean Hancock (2-1)
  • Featherweight Preliminary Bout: Timothy Wheeler (1-4) vs. Pete Rogers (2-4)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Don Shainis (3-1) vs. Matthew Denning (5-6)
  • 150 lb. Catchweight Preliminary Bout: Frank Sforza (6-0) vs. Vovka Clay (3-2)
  • Lightweight Preliminary Bout: Kevin Carrier (Pro Debut) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (Pro Debut)
  • Flyweight Preliminary Bout: John Lopez (6-4) vs. Billy Giovanella (9-5)
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