Nickname: Little Warrior From: Alton, Illinois , USA Fighting out of: Bettendorf, Iowa, USA Team: Miletich Fighting Systems Height: 5’4″ Weight: 125 pounds Fight Record:Sherdog/Tapology Bio: Honchak isn’t your typical MMA fighter. At one point, she was putting her bachelor’s degree in molecular biology and her master’s degrees in ecology and genetics to use at a regular job in St. Louis. She started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and before long, took her first amateur fight. Within two years, she had gone 8-1 and turned pro. Her early fights read like a who’s who of women’s MMA, as she faced a gauntlet that includes Roxanne Modafferi, Nina Ansaroff, Felice Herrig, Angela Magana and Cat Zingano. Honchak signed with Invicta in 2012 and put herself in title contention with back-to-back wins over Bethany Marshall and Aisling Daly. The wins put Honchak in the promotion’s inaugural flyweight title fight, where she best Brazilian Vanessa Porto to capture gold. To date, she’s made two successful title defenses and is the top-ranked 125-pound fighter in the world.
2013-Present: Invicta FC Flyweight Champion
First MFS Female World Champion
“Martial arts is not about being the champion and its not simply about winning. That is simply a result of the path you take in the sport. It’s about self-discovery, self-improvement, finding humility and growing from it. The process is hard and it should change your mind body and soul, and in that lies the art in mixed martial arts. The journey to the top should be slow and savored because once you are on top of the mountain, you can enjoy the view for awhile but eventually you have to climb back down.”
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HERE’S SOME THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT BARB HONCHAK
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY OF TRAINING LIKE?
It changes all the time. In a camp, I train two to three times a day. The rest of my time during camps tends to be spent meditating, eating or sleeping.
WHAT GOT YOU INTO MARTIAL ARTS?
I started my path with BJJ. I had no intention of fighting when I started. A local promoter asked my coach if I wanted to take a fight. I took it just to see how it would go. I won and I wanted more.
WHAT PROFESSION OTHER THAN YOUR OWN WOULD YOU LIKE TO ATTEMPT AND WHY?
Since I have degrees in biology, I would like to go back to using them when I am done. I do a little microbrewing from time to time and I think brewing, as a profession, would be a lot of fun. It is art and science in one.
IF YOU COULD MEET ANYONE, LIVING OR DEAD, WHO WOULD YOU MEET AND WHY?
At the moment, I find the current Pope fascinating and relatively forward thinking. I wouldn’t mind meeting him.
IF YOU COULD BE ANY FICTIONAL CHARACTER, WHO WOULD YOU CHOOSE AND WHY?
Iron Man… because he’s Iron Man.