Kyle Crutchmer (6-1) makes his fourth Bellator appearance this Friday at Bellator 260.
The former two-time NCAA All-American wrestler out of Oklahoma is coming off his first professional loss. Last October, he lost a unanimous decision to Kemran Lachinov at Bellator 249. He isn’t letting the loss of his 0 going to affect him like it does other athletes.
“This is how I see it. When you ask a fighter, what their goal is, most of the time, their number one goal is to be a world champion. Right? Most of the time. I don’t know about everyone, but I know the guys I’m around; most of them say they want to be world champions. They don’t say to go undefeated,” Crutchmer said in an interview with Cageside Press. “I didn’t get into this sport to be, undefeated Kyle Crutchmer. You know, that’s not what I got in the sport for. I got into the sport because I love to compete, I like fighting, and to be a world champion. You see guys with losses all the time obtain world championships at the highest level, they go and get a belt, and they hold onto it.”
“You know, there’s a lot of guys that have taken a loss early in their career, and they don’t take very many more, and I feel like, I’m that kind of guy. I feel like, when I got in this, it was never about going undefeated.”
When asked what he took from his loss against Lachinov, Crutchmer said he would have relied on his credentialed wrestling.
“I fought a very tough guy on my feet. I had one shot attempt. If I could go back and do it, I probably would have wrestled more. But, I grew so much from that loss. Now I know what I’m capable of. I found out that if something ever happened with my wrestling, I’m capable of standing and going 15 minutes with a guy that had trained since 2010. I was a sophomore in high school when he started MMA. And, you know, and I’m catching up to these guys,” Crutchmer said.
Crutchmer faces undefeated Georgian knockout artist Levan Chokheli at Bellator 260, who has nothing but first-round stoppages.
“He looks like a dangerous guy on paper: nine knockouts or something like that. But six of his opponents had a record of 0-0. And, you know, they didn’t ever fight again after that. So I don’t really know what to think,” Crutchmer said. “I do know that his last fight, he fought a wrestler and was taken down a couple of times. I also know the guy obviously hits hard. But, I mean, there’s just not really much about him out there, you know, I mean, you can try to collect some film on him, but the dudes he’s fighting are just standing there.”
“I don’t know; I’m intrigued, I’m actually intrigued to see what he’s all about.
And, you know, my thing is, I got my zero taken from me last fight, and now, I want to take his.”
Kyle Crutchmer fights Levan Chokheli at Bellator 260 this Friday, June 11. The event airs live on Showtime in the U.S. You can also check out his media day appearance below: