If you were all hyped about seeing former Edinboro All-American wrestler Chris Honeycutt do battle at the Battlegrounds MMA 8-man, one-night elimination tournament this weekend, you need to make other plans.
The BattleGrounds MMA “One Night Elimination (O.N.E.)” event slated for Friday, June 27 at BOK Center in Tulsa has been rescheduled for October 3 at the same location. The good news: for fans unable to make it to Oklahoma, the event will now be available on pay-per-view, according to MMAJunkie.com.
The welterweight (170-pound) tournament will air on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. Eastern on Friday, October 3 through cable and satellite providers. A pay-per-view price point for the event has yet to be announced. Tickets already purchased for the event at BOK Center will be honored on the new date.
Battlegrounds MMA President Kenny Monday – a three-time Olympic wrestler and Oklahoma State All-American – shared the reason for the reschedule in a June 17 interview with MMAJunkie.com.
“This is a tremendous step forward for our two-year-old company that will allow us to bring BattleGrounds MMA’s world-class competitive platform to a live, national audience for the first time,” said Monday. “We truly appreciate all the support and enthusiasm that the fans and our fighters have shown us. On October 3, we are going to show our gratitude by giving MMA fans throughout the U.S. the opportunity to take in all the action live from their homes.”
This type of single-night elimination tournament – once a staple of mixed martial arts competition which had pretty much disappeared because of safety concerns -- required special clearance from Oklahoma authorities which was granted in May. The approved format for the Battlegrounds: One Night Elimination (O.N.E.) event incorporates a modified version of Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Elbows will be illegal in all fights except for the final. The preliminary tournament fights will also feature three five-minute rounds, with the final going five rounds. Opening-round matchups for the tourney will be randomly drawn at the show’s official weigh-ins.
In an online promotional poster of the event, featuring images of the eight fighters – including Honeycutt -- the headline states, “One of these men will endure three gut-wrenching bouts in one night of action to become Battlegrounds MMA O.N.E. champion, and will take home a $50,000 paycheck.”
As a wrestler at Pennsylvania’s Edinboro University, Honeycutt was a two-time EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) champ in 2009 and 2011, and back-to-back NCAA All-American in 2011 and 2012. He announced his intention to enter MMA competition the night before his 197-pound title match at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships (which he lost to Cornell’s Cam Simaz). As an MMA professional, Honeycutt is now 4-0, winning the middleweight title for the Up & Comers Unlimited promotion last July.
In addition to Honeycutt, other fighters going after the $50,000 grand prize at the Battlegrounds MMA O.N.E. 8-man welterweight tournament include Brock Larson, a Ultimate Fighting Championships veteran with a 37-8 record; “The Ultimate Fighter 12″ quarterfinalist Cody McKenzie (15-4); former UFC title challenger and respected submission specialist Dennis Hallman (53-14-2); former UFC and M-1 fighter Luigi Fioravanti (24-11); five-time UFC fighter David Mitchell (13-4); UFC vet Roan Carneiro (16-9), and Bellator Fighting Championships' Trey Houston (10-2).