Crawford defeats Honsvick by TKO in MMA bout in Salt Lake City – St George News

Dustin Crawford’s arm is raised by the referee after defeating Brandon Honsvick in a lightweight bout during “SteelFist Fight Night Lightning,” Salt Lake City, Utah, June 18, 2022 | Screenshot image from video courtesy of Dustin Crawford, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – In their professional mixed martial arts lightweight fight Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Dustin “DJ” Crawford defeated fellow Washington County resident Brandon “Warrior” Honsvick by technical knockout.

Brandon Honsvick and Dustin Crawford battle during “SteelFist Fight Night Lightning,” Salt Lake City, Utah, June 18, 2022 | Photo courtesy of Amanda Lynn Sports Photography, St. George News

Competing in the final bout on the card of the SteelFist Fight Night “Lightning” event, Crawford unleashed a series of knee strikes to the head of the bloodied Honsvick with just over three minutes left in the third and final round, prompting the referee to call a TKO and stop the fight.

Early in the bout, approximately 20 seconds into the first round, Honsvick had executed a quick takedown of Crawford, a move that actually popped one of Crawford’s ribs out of place.

“By the end of round one, he was having a hard time breathing or even moving because of his rib, but there’s no quit in DJ,” Crawford’s trainer and coach Raven Cain told St. George News.

During that first takedown, Honsvick attempted to put a rear-naked chokehold on Crawford while he had him on the mat, but Crawford managed to escape the submission hold, Cain said.

“He got out of it, and I think that surprised his opponent,” Cain said, adding that one of Crawford’s primary strategies was to keep Honsvick from taking the fight to the mat.

As the fight wore on, Cain said, Crawford “scrambled so much that (Honsvick) was unsuccessful in getting any kind of submission.”

MMA fighter Dustin Crawford jokes with members of his training and coaching staff, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 18, 2022 | Photo courtesy of Raven Cain, St. George News

“DJ continued to strike and hit him with knees and elbows while on the ground,” he added.

“The unbelievable amount of knees that DJ delivered was just insane,” Cain said. “I’ve never seen anybody throw that many knees in an MMA fight.”

“My knee is swollen,” Crawford told St. George News via text message on Monday afternoon as he was waiting to get his rib realigned by a medical professional.

Crawford said he wasn’t about to let his “freak” rib injury stand in his way of winning the fight.

“It’s like my recovery,” he said, referring to his own emergence from several years of substance abuse. “Things happen but you just gotta keep fighting and never give up.”

“He’s got the heart of a lion,” added Cain. “By the end of round one, the crowd was chanting, ‘Icy!’ ‘Icy!’ ”

Crawford said he has embraced the nickname “Icy Hott” for his professional fighter persona. Saturday night, he sported hair dyed bright blue and wore trunks emblazoned with a fire-and-ice motif.

Crawford, whose pro career MMA record improved to 6-14-0 with the win, said he’s not sure when he’ll fight next, depending on how his ribs heal, but Cain said he believes Crawford is well on his way to competing in a title bout soon.

Meanwhile, Honsvick was gracious in defeat, saying in a social media post after the bout, “Fight didn’t go my way and my body gave out before his did.”

“Hats off to my opponent,” he added. “He was the better man for the night.”

Honsvick, whose professional record fell to 1-3-0 with the loss to Crawford, said he plans to fight again soon, possibly as soon as Aug. 27 at the Crown Fighting event at the Legacy Park in Hurricane.

To watch a replay of Saturday’s bout on Crawford’s YouTube channel, click here.

Cain said two of his other MMA students at Raven Defense Academy in Hurricane also fought well on Saturday, with Jase Anderson defeating Seth Reategui via TKO and Perry Taylor appearing to finish his opponent with a hard kick to the stomach; however, that latter bout was controversially ruled a “no contest” match.

Saturday’s originally scheduled headline fight featuring Cedar City’s Josiah Simpson of Empire MMA was scratched from the card, leaving Crawford vs. Honsvick as the evening’s main event.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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