Though he might have stumbled a bit coming out of the block in 2017, middleweight Chris Honeycutt was able to right himself and close out the year on a winning streak.
Coming off a TKO loss to Paul Bradley in January of last year, Honeycutt picked up three straight unanimous decision wins to put himself back into middleweight title contention.
“It didn’t star off well,” Honeycutt told MMAWeekly.com. “I had my first and loss (to Bradley), and that got the wheels spinning again.
“As soon as I was able to get cleared to fight, I got right back to work. Against Matt Secor, I won, and about six weeks later I was fighting Mikkel Parlo, and then finished the year with Ben Reiter. As a year overall I thought it was a good year for me.”
The four bouts Honeycutt had in 2016 were his most in a year to date, and if he had his way, he’d continue to have the same kind of output going forward.
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“I love to, as long as I’m healthy, fight five or six times,” he said. “If I can go in there and fight and not take too much damage, (I’d like to) keep the wheels going.
“It’s such a physically demanding sport, and there’s only enough lifespan a fighter has, and while I’m not really young, I’m not really old, I’m kind of right before the middle, and I feel at my strongest and athletic ability, so now is the time to crank out as many fights as I can.”
Honeycutt (9-1) will look to pick up his fourth straight win when he takes on veteran Kendall Grove (23-16) in a main card 185-pound bout at Bellator 174 in Thackerville, Okla., on Friday.
“He’s a tall guy and has a pretty good reach, so it’s a no-brainer that his strength is his range,” said Honeycutt of Grove. “I’ll be in his punching range before I can even touch him, so to beat him I have to get past that without taking too much damage.
“Being able to be explosive on the way win will be to my favor, so get inside there and tear him up.”
After having put himself back on the right track, Honeycutt is eager to get his opportunity to become a champion in Bellator this year and solidify his standings as one of the best middleweights in the world.
“I always take it fight by fight as far as preparation and stuff like that, but long-term goals are always necessary to have,” he said. “I think 2017 will be my year. This year I should not only be the champion, but have at least defended it once or twice.
“As long as I’m healthy I’m ready to fight. I’m not shying away from it. I’m not someone to get the belt and just hold it in desperation, I want to hold onto it by the number of fights I’ve had defending it.”
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