Chris Honeycutt, two-time NCAA All-American for Edinboro University, won his first pro MMA bout in the first round at Up and Comers Unlimited XIV at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Palm Springs, Calif. Saturday night.
Competing at 180 pounds, Honeycutt, 197-pound runner-up at the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, defeated last-minute opponent Jessy Torres when the referee stopped the match at 1:06 in the first round when he felt Torres could not defend himself on the ground, according to The Desert Sun.
The former Fighting Scot mat champ was originally to face Anthony Shifflett, who, according to Sherdog.com, has an 0-2 record, losing both matches by TKO in 2012. However, The Desert Sun reports that Shifflett went missing just minutes before his match with Honeycutt. Wanting to keep a full 11-bout card, promoters contacted Torres of nearby Indio, Calif., who was at home watching movies on NetFlix with his wife.
After his minute in the ring with Honeycutt, Torres told Leighton Ginn of The Desert Sun, “Honestly, I didn’t know what I was getting into.”
Even as a couple days ago, Honeycutt didn’t know who he was facing… as two other opponents backed out. As he told John Dudley, who covers Edinboro wrestling for the Erie Times-News, “The way I look at this fight, it doesn’t really matter who I’m fighting. I should kill the guy.”
Citing the guys he’s been training with at Dethrone Basecamp in Fresno — including fellow Edinboro mat alum Josh Koscheck — Honeycutt told the Erie Times-News, “I mean, it shouldn’t even be close, just based on the caliber of competition I’ve been facing. But you have to start somewhere. That’s what this is all about.”
Honeycutt announced his intention to compete in mixed martial arts the night before his appearance in the 2012 NCAA 197-pound title match, which he lost to Cornell’s Cam Simaz, 7-5.
Before committing to MMA, Honeycutt crafted a successful mat career at Pennsylvania-based Edinboro, earning All-American honors by placing fifth in the 184-pound weight class at the 2011 NCAAs, and runner-up at 197 in 2012. He was a two-time EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) champ in 2009 and 2011.
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