Former Cowboy wrestler and All-American Kyle Crutchmer has one of the biggest fights of his MMA career when he takes on Oliver Enkamp, a Swedish fighter that is currently 10-2, this Friday night at Bellator 272.
I spoke with Kyle earlier this week about his prep for the fight, Daniel Cormier’s influence on him, and joining up with Jacobe Smith and Nick Piccininni at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose.
“This will definitely be my toughest challenge yet,” said Crutchmer, who is now 7-1 in his MMA career with four fights in Bellator. “When I transitioned to Bellator [after a few fights with Oklahoma MMA organization XFN], I was ready, I was excited, I knew the opportunity. … I’ve been around some of the most high-level guys you can be around, so being around DC and Khabib (Nurmagomedov) preparing for their big fights really got me ready to step into the Bellator scene.”
Fellow former Cowboy and All-American Daniel Cormier has been a big influence on the career of Kyle Crutchmer.
“He’s like a big brother to me,” Crutchmer said. “He brought me out there, took care of me. I could go on and on about that guy. He’s done so much for me. I’m forever grateful.”
Though he’s still involved, Crutchmer has stepped back a bit from coaching wrestling at Gilroy High School to focus on training and his newborn daughter. But he credits her as a big source of inspiration in his training.
“She’s my biggest motivation,” Crutchmer said. “I facetime her 3-7 times a day depending on what I have going. I really enjoy being a father, seeing her face every day, being able to talk to her and watch her grow, as far as motivation goes, she’s definitely my biggest motivation.”
Crutchmer’s in a unique spot in his training and fighting as he has two of his closest friends from college joining him for the ride with Nick Piccininni and Jacobe Smith.
“I didn’t learn this all myself, I took DC’s blueprint from him when I got to watch his camps and things like that,” Crutchmer said. Those guys (Piccininni and Smith) are professionals. They wrestled at a high level. They understand how to train and understand their bodies. They picked it up pretty quickly. I actually have Nick out here with me. It’s like a little brotherhood. It’s what we did in college. We were together all of the time. It’s the same thing we have going here. Just trying to chase this dream together.”
Crutchmer has an opportunity to take one step closer to achieving that dream if he can beat Enkamp on Friday.
You can watch the preliminary fights, including Crutchmer’s, live on the Bellator YouTube page this Friday.
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