When it comes to his unanimous decision loss to Rafael Lovato Jr. at Bellator 189 last December, middleweight Chris Honeycutt feels the outcome was mainly determined by the positioning of the fight.
Throughout the bout, Honeycutt admittedly allowed Lovato to use the cage to his advantage, and because of that, the judges perhaps felt he was in control of the fight, leading to their decision.
“When I think about that fight, it’s in the past, there’s nothing you can do about it, so just move on,” Honeycutt told MMAWeekly.com. “I shouldn’t have been so comfortable having him against the cage.
“I should have made him work to get (off the cage), but he was so content to use his height and just drape all over my neck and hang out. It was a disappointing loss and I’ll make sure it never happens again. “
Since the loss to Lovato, Honeycutt has spent all of 2018 waiting for a fight. Though he didn’t want to spend so much time off, he doesn’t feel it will affect him when he does finally step back into the cage.
“I’m a professional fighter, I’m in the gym twice a day, so nothing really changes, except for not having to cut weight because I haven’t fought,” said Honeycutt. “I’ve been competing since I was four or five years old in wrestling, so it shouldn’t be a problem getting back in the cage or feeling like it’s been too long.”
This coming Friday in Thackerville, Okla., Honeycutt (10-2) will have his first bout of the year when he faces Leo Leite (10-1) in a Bellator 202 main card 185-pound bout.
“Leo is going to be a lot like Rafael,” Honeycutt said. “I think my wrestling can stop his Judo, and even if I get taken down I’m not too worried because I can get right back up.
“I see a lot of holes in his game. I’m not 6’1” or 6’2”, so obviously I’m going to be a little bit more in his face, in the pocket, pushing the pace.”
Having spent the entire year waiting for a fight, Honeycutt is eager to make up for lost time and get in as many bouts as he can before the end of 2018.
“Obviously I want to be the best and be the champ and all of that, but I’m a fighter,” said Honeycutt. “Put bodies in front of me, put me on the card, and I’ll fight. The more I fight, the faster I grow as a fighter, and the more exciting I’m able to be to perform and put on a show for everyone.”