Chris Honeycutt has been training his entire life it seems; from a 154-10 high school wrestling career in which he was undefeated and won his second state championship as a senior, to his collegiate career at Edinboro University. By the time “The Cutt” graduated, he was a two time NCAA Division 1 All-American and was already a fan of mixed martial arts. He trained in some boxing and Tae Kwon Do before fully committing to chase his goal of becoming a professional fighter.
Honeycutt has fought to a very stellar 11-2 record and is scheduled to take on Costello “the Spaniard” Steenis (10-1) at Bellator 210 on November 30 from Thackerville, Oklahoma. I had the pleasure of chatting with Chris on the phone to ask him a few questions about his background, fight camp, and his feelings on his upcoming matchup.
You have been a wrestler for a long time. Do you still have interest in that sport and do you follow it?
“It’s difficult to stay up to date with it since I am at the gym for most of the day. When I get home it’s hard to find the time but when there is a big match or the finals, I do pay attention. My little nephew is a wrestler and he kind of looks up to me so I try to help him in any way I can. When I’m home I watch him or we Facetime so I’m able to give him some pointers. Wrestling is so much about life lessons.”
Where have you trained for this fight and who has been helping you get ready?
“My camp in Fresno dwindled away about 8 or 9 weeks ago. I went to LA with the BodyShop. I got down to Huntington where I crashed and worked with Chuck Liddell, AJ Mckee, and Aaron Pico. The last week or so I have gotten back to my guys at Dethrone for the final preparations.”
Who has been your biggest influence as far as learning the striking craft?
“Josh Koscheck and I are actually alumni of the same university ( Edinboro) and had the same wrestling coach.. When I first began, I was with him for about 3.5 or 4 years. He kind of had Cliff Notes for wrestlers, like myself, transitioning into MMA. He said it would take several hours per day, over and over to get good. He called it the grind. Month after month , then year after year it took to get to the necessary level. The belief was also that wrestling is useless unless you know jiu-jitsu, so that was a big part of that grind and continue to work on your boxing. Josh also broke the training down into sections where we would work on each part. I’m really comfortable with my kicks and knees, now.”
How do you feel about your opponent, Costello Steenis?
“I don’t think he does anything great. I think he’s decent at a lot of things. His only loss is to Jake Bostwick. I actually spent a few weeks at American Top Team with Jake. We became friends and I helped him a lot with his wrestling and he is a big striker and he helped me with that.”
How do you see the fight going?
“If I were him, I would want to keep it on the feet. I’m not exactly sure what he’s going to try. I just don’t see him taking me down. If he does, I will bounce right back up. His submissions won’t work. For me, I want to take him down and do my work from there.”