Former two time All-American collegiate wrestler Chris Honeycutt appeared on Sunday Night Spotlight Sunday night and told the audience that he is making his greatly anticipated MMA debut this coming weekend in Palm Springs, Calif. Up and Comers Unlimited XIV will take place on January 26, and as the title suggests, features MMA fighters who are just starting out in their careers.
"I'm looking forward to it, making that descent down to 180 lbs. I feel strong and I am a little more leaner and agile. I am looking forward to getting that first win and getting the ball rolling for 2013," he said when asked about making his debut.
MMA has a long list of accomplished wrestlers who have been successful in the sport. Ben Askren, King Mo, Chael Sonnen and Brock Lesnar are just a few of the more accomplished amateur wrestlers who have transitioned nicely over the past several years. Chris Honeycutt hopes he will be able to do the same, following the lead of fellow Edinboro University wrestler, Josh Koscheck who is currently in the UFC.
When it came time for Honeycutt to start training for MMA, his ties to Koscheck made Dethrone the logical camp for him to start with, considering that's where he is currently based out of.
"I chose Dethrone because I kinda like Josh's attitude. He's not trying to be friendly with you unless you deserve it. He speaks openly. If he sees a problem he'll speak his mind and he's not gonna lie to you. He's gonna be blunt regardless if it's good or bad. That's what I like. Because in MMA it only takes one mess up to get knocked out or lose."
Wrestling is certainly a great base for making the transition to MMA. However, great wrestling is not an automatic guarantee that one will be successful, no matter how great the pedigree. The ability to defend against submissions and take a shot to the face are traits not necessary in wrestling, but critical in MMA. This coming weekend we will find out for sure if Chris Honeycutt has the tools to be a potential star in MMA or if the transition proved too difficult.
It appears he knows what to expect and is willing to make the sacrifices necessary. With continued hard work, and guidance from Josh Koscheck and others at Dethrone, he certainly will be given all the tools he needs to make it.