San Jose, CA – There’s a luxury of sorts when fighting in your own backyard when it comes to travel, lodging, training and specially cutting weight. For Bellator welterweight Kyle Crutchmer fighting at home in San Jose makes everything a little bit easier.
“It’s a lot better (at home). Flying from San Jose to Connecticut can be quite a bit of a haul. Just the weight cut and everything just goes a little bit easier, I get to train a little bit longer at home and do things like that. It’s like any other sport. A lot of home games and you’ve got the home field advantage and I feel like not having to travel on the travel days is going to help me tremendously when it comes to the weight cut,” Crutchmer told reporters at media day on Wednesday.
Crutchmer will face Michael Lombardo at Bellator 277 on Friday night at the SAP Center in San Jose.
“Mike looks like a tough guy. I’ve watched some film on him he looks like a very tough guy. He’s been around the sport for a long time. He comes from a great camp. Two high-level wrestling coaches, Oklahoma State guys, where I’m from so I’m pretty familiar with those guys. As far as match-up wise I think everybody knows my greatest strength you can kind of see it every time I fight. It’s hard for anyone to deal with that. The level that I’ve been able to keep growing it into, not just a wrestler, but an MMA wrestler,” Crutchmer said.
“Being around the guys that I’m around at AKA I can feel myself evolving. I just think my greatest strength with anybody is years of experience as far as thousands of matches that I wrestled and being in front of thousands of people. My wrestling I feel like I should be able to get the job done.”
One of the mainstays at AKA, and a teammate and coach of Crutchmer, is former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. Velasquez is currently in jail facing attempted murder charges stemming from a situation involving an accused child molester and a close family member of Velasquez.
“When I first heard it it was really crazy. I literally talked to him two days before, he comes to the gym every day and helps us. I have a daughter and obviously he has a son and a daughter and we sat down and afterwards we were talking about our favorite Disney movies that we like to watch. To see all of this happening to someone like that it just shows you how backwards a lot of this legal sh*t is. I think anyone, as a father now, I didn’t realize when I was growing up how much it actually means to be a parent,” Crutchmer said.
“I think your biggest job even now to what I do is to protect my kids and protect my daughter and man I couldn’t tell you if I wouldn’t have done the same thing that he did if I found out something like that.”
Many AKA members have shown up in support of Velasquez at his court appearances with signs of support.
“They need to really look at this a little bit and realize who really was in the wrong here. I think the state of California could have done a little bit better by at least letting Cain’s family know what their process was on this to kind of get them some clarity. Just to release a sexual predator or a child molester whatever you want to call him out back into the world just doesn’t make sense to me,” Crutchmer said.
“And I’m from Oklahoma man and if you did something like that there I don’t think that guy ends up any different.”
Watch the rest of Kyle Crutchmer’s media day scrum above. Bellator 277 goes down April 15th in San Jose, CA on Showtime.