Chris Honeycutt put himself back in the win column with a key victory over Brazil’s Leo Leite on Friday at Bellator 202. Afterward, there was another Brazilian on his mind — a legendary one he’d love to meet in his next bout.
“Ear to ear smiles.” That’s how Chris Honeycutt described the feeling after his big win over Leo Leites at Bellator 202 on Friday night in Thackerville, Oklahoma. It was Honeycutt’s second straight fight against a jiu-jitsu expert. The last, against Rafael Lovato Jr., did not go in his favor. Against Leites, however, Honeycutt was firing on all cylinders, and while Leites was game, he had no answer. None, as three 30-25 scorecards reflected.
Speaking to Cageside Press and other media outlets after the bout, Honeycutt discussed the win, and who he wants next. A big name, in fact.
“Having that loss definitely changed my attitude going into this fight,” Honeycutt said of his tango with Lovato in December at Bellator 189. “Obviously you saw me in this fight, where ‘we gotta get to the cage.’ And I rotated him and I put him against the cage.” Yet while he felt Leite wasn’t necessarily working as hard as his previous opponent to escape the position, Honeycutt didn’t sleep on his opponent.
“I felt not content of winning positions,” Honeycutt explained, “because against Lovato, I had him against the fence almost the entire fight, and I was just assuming I was winning because I was controlling the ring. I was putting the pressure, and being more offensive. And when the fight was over, obviously it didn’t come out in my favor, it came out in his.”
Lesson learned. “From here on out, for probably the rest of my career, even though I’m winning positions, getting him against the cage, I will always question if I’m even winning that exchange or not,” Honeycutt continued. “I’ll give it ten seconds or so, throw a couple of knees, and then either let go, go back and start over, or go for a takedown or something.”
As for who’s next, Honeycutt, who didn’t get any time on the mic in the cage post-fight, has someone in mind. ‘The Dragon,’ no less.
“I’m sure there’s a long list already calling him out, but I’d like to fight Machida,” Honeycutt told us. “He’s in Bellator now, he’s a big name. I’ve been fighting for a long time now, I’d like to really step it up, and fight somebody that’s well known and really challenge myself.”
Catch the full Bellator 202 post-fight scrum with Chris Honeycutt above!