Kyle Crutchmer: Fighting and Fatherhood

Kyle Crutchmer makes his third trip to the Bellator cage on Bellator 249. He takes on the 9-2 Camron Lochinov and puts his perfect 6-0 record on the line. Crutchmer trains at AKA with names like Daniel Cormier, Ed Ruth and more. We spoke with Crutchmer in the past before his Bellator debut. Check that out below to get to know him a little better.

Check out our podcast with Kyle Crutchmer below, available on Spotify and anywhere else you get your podcasts.

Like everyone else, the COVID-19 pandemic changed life as we know it in 2020. Kyle Crutchmer believes that he is fortunate to be able to fight and support his new family. He has put himself in other peoples shoes and realized that being able to fight is a fortunate state to be in. 

“It’s been about like everybody else except I get to fight and make some more money. A lot of people have had some things happen with their jobs and things like that. I really can’t complain.”

With two trips to the Bellator cage under his belt, Crutchmer believes he is only getting better and that won’t stop for some time. While he wrestled at Oklahoma State, two time All-American and two time Big 12 champion reminds us he has only been fighting since 2018.

“I’ve only been doing this about two and a half years now,” says Crutchmer. “I think any time you work at something, you’re at the gym that I’m at month to month, you get better every fight and I’m getting better every day. I don’t see that stopping for a really long time.” When asked if this will be the best version of Kyle Crutchmer, the Cowboy alum said, “This will be the best I’ve ever been, 100%.”

Kyle Crutchmer Training for Bellator 249

As previously stated, Crutchmer trains at AKA, home of several UFC champions, including Khabib Nurmagomedov, Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez. Training in the pandemic has been tough but Crutchmer has a great team that makes sure he’s missed very little time training. The toughest part for Kyle Crutchmer has been being separated from his family. With a newborn daughter, flying back and forth takes a toll on Crutchmer.

“I’m still at AKA. It’s been a little bit closed off. One of my coaches has a gym also so I haven’t lost any access to any training. I was in Dallas, Texas. My girlfriend and I had our first child. I was in Texas from the beginning of this pandemic and they were pretty much open at the beginning of the pandemic. I’ve been training since February or March. It really hasn’t closed down for me, I’ve been one of the lucky ones. AKA has been pretty closed off but they’ve been able to open up a little bit with some restrictions and things like that. It’s been good.”

AKA has an embarrassment of riches. Crutchmer is part of those riches. Crutchmer has been in the gym, despite the pandemic, and has helped train in the camps of Ed Ruth, Daniel Cormier and more. 

“We’ve got a bunch of really good guys. I can’t say who specifically, but I’ve trained with Ed Ruth for his fight, a couple of other Bellator guys. I was a part of DC’s camp so I was going in with guys that were a part of his camp as well. Realistically, I’ve been in camp since four or five months because I did a camp with DC.”

Crutchmer’s opponent, Lochinov, has two wins by knee bar. When asked if he was taking any consideration into the leg locks of Lochinov, he said with a smirk, “Man, he ain’t going to knee bar me. It ain’t happening.”

Bellator 249 is a stacked card. Cris Cyborg returns to action to defend her 145 belt in Bellator for the first time. Patricky Pitbull is on the card as well as other names like Joe Schilling, Ricky Bandejas and more of Bellator’s finest. Kyle Crutchmer is grateful to be on the card but he looks forward to the day he’s one of those fighters instead of the up-and-comer. He knows he’s destined for more in the sport of mixed martial arts.

“I feel like for me, it’s a blessing that I’m able to fight with such big names, but I’m ready to be one of those names. I don’t take anything from those guys and I think that if I just continue to do what I’m doing and continue to produce wins, I’ll be one of those names that people look at and maybe one day be able to headline. It’s a blessing and I’m excited to get on a card with those guys. But, right now, I’m just trying to win every fight. Everything else will take care of itself.”

When Bellator 249 rolls around, Crutchmer is aiming to catch the eyes of fight fans. He’s felt his improvement is exponential and that his experience with the other professionals at his disposal give him a unique advantage over his opponents. 

“I just think people are going to realize that I’m getting here. I feel like I’m sparring with some good guys and I haven’t really lost very many rounds lately. I’m doing really well and training really hard. I have great coaches and great teammates and I’m a part of a great camp. There’s always champions. It’s something about having a child just makes you a little bit different. I think you’re going to see the father version of me and I think that’s a scary version.”

Kyle Crutchmer and Fatherhood

With their new daughter, Crutchmer is seeing life’s new challenges. Being a professional fighter and a father is no easy task, especially when training at the best facilities is a must at Crutchmer’s level. But, as with his combat sports career, Crutchmer has embraced the challenge. 

“It’s a blessing. I love it. There’s nothing like it. It’s been challenging in a way because me and my girlfriend do long distance when I’m doing camp. I’m constantly flying back and forth. It’s something that we both know that if this can go well and do right, my daughter will have a different life than what I was brought up with.”

With the success Crutchmer has had at Oklahoma State, don’t expect to see baby Crutchmer tearing it up on the wrestling mats. Kyle Crutchmer knows how tough the life of a wrestler is and he and his girlfriend are planning an easier life for their daughter. If the desire to wrestle is there for their children, Crutchmer will support them. But his family will not push wrestling on their kids for family tradition’s sake. 

“My girlfriend is not going to let her wrestle. We’re going to play some soccer and things like that. I don’t know if I’m going to put my kids in wrestling, to be honest. It’s a hard sport, we might do a little bit, but I don’t want them to ever feel any weird pressure from my background and what I’ve done. If that’s something they want to try, then yeah, I’m never going to tell my kids no. But, it’s not something that I’m going to push to be totally honest.”

As an Oklahoma State alum and with the wrestling season is around the corner, Crutchmer still watches the Cowboys. Oklahoma State comes into the next season ranked fifth in the country with big names returning like Daton Fix, Kaid Brock, Boo Lewallen, and more. Crutchmer has high expectations but is short on his desires from this wrestling season. “National champs.”

Kyle Crutchmer returns at Bellator 249. Follow him in Instagram and Twitter to follow his fight journey.

Blaine Henry

Just your friendly neighborhood fight fan!

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