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Eddie Wineland: Honey Badger Don’t Quit

By Zach Arnold | April 29, 2013

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Lea Young can be reached at or on Twitter @effenprincess.

Tyrann Mathieu may be football’s Honey Badger, but Eddie Wineland is MMA’s version

The honey badger, known for its thick skin and ferocious defensive abilities, has short and sturdy legs and strong claws that have the potential to rip anyone’s face off. They are notorious for their strength, ferocity and toughness – much like Eddie “the Honey Badger” Wineland, who is up for an interim Bantamweight title shot against Renan Barão at UFC 161 in Canada this June.

Fighting out of New Breed Chicago, Vale Tudo, and Applied Strength and Conditioning, Wineland is coming off a two-win streak in the UFC. He most recently defeated Brad Pickett at UFC 155 in December and took Fight of the Night at UFC on FX after he KO’d Scott Jorgensen at 4:10 of round 2.

While Wineland is no stranger to MMA, previously having a huge presence in the WEC, little is actually really known about the elusive Honey Badger. All we seem to know is that this feisty bantamweight had a rough start upon entering the UFC in March 2011, losing to both Urijah Faber and Joseph Benavidez, but has since regained his footing and has been on a tear through the division ever since.

On April 12th, it marked Wineland’s 10th anniversary of his first fight. Although he’s been a wrestler pretty much since he could walk, the Honey Badger later began his MMA career right out of high school. After just two months of training, he took his first fight against a guy 10 years his senior and 20 pounds heavier. Wineland ended up mounting and TKOing the “old guy” after he kept bull rushing him. Ten years later, the Honey Badger only wants to fight the best in the UFC and is now up for a title shot.

In a recent interview with Wineland, he talks about his upcoming fight and training camp; his Uncle Creepy-esque mustache; the history of his nickname “the Honey Badger;” and more importantly, what to expect from him on June 15th.

On being the underdog: “I myself don’t (consider being the underdog)… I know wholeheartedly I’m gonna smash him. But if you ask anybody else, apparently I don’t stand a chance. I’m completely fine with that. It’s motivation. Put all your money on Renan… I hope you put your life savings on him because I’m gonna take it. When I go in and I do what I know that I can do, I guarantee that there’s nobody in the world that beats me at 135.”

On his training camp: “We’ve plugging in more grappling, more scrambling cause that’s what he catches people in… the scrambling, the transitions. We brought in some Thai guys. One guy, I sparred with for the first time last week and it’s amazing how he mimics Barão. I mean just naturally he fights identical to Barão. It’s absolutely incredible. So I think that’s gonna be a big advantage by boxing with him… and if I can get the better of him, we’re there.”

On the nickname “the Honey Badger”: “It all stems from Bob Hemmerich and some of the guys at Applied Strength and Conditioning. One guy came in one day to the gym and he had said something about a honey badger. I mean, you could literally see he was terrified. It’s like he watched this video on the honey badger and was like “OMG this animal is ridiculous.” So we all kinda started doing a little bit of research and it started out as a joke and stemmed into something bigger. I don’t think it’s official yet because if Bruce Buffer doesn’t say it, it’s not official. It’s just known amongst friends.”

On the mustache: “It’s turning into something glorious. Me and a buddy from Applied Strength and Conditioning… we grow them once a year. I start mine in December and he always shaves his off at the end of March (cause he grows it through the March Madness). I shaved mine off last year cause I got frustrated with it. Growing one this year, I was kinda on the fence on wanting to keep it. I started Googling handlebar mustaches. I remember reading an article that said that the one thing that compliments a handlebar mustache is a well-groomed haircut. I went to a buddy of mine… and it’s a funny story, cause two nights previous, a buddy of mine had approached me and he saw that my hair was getting a little long and I didn’t really know what to do with it and he goes, “Hey if you ever wanna get your haircut, I’m a barber.” Two days later I went in and got a haircut. I liked what I saw so now we’re gonna see what we can make happen with it.”

What to expect on June 15th: “It’s gonna be the same old Eddie Wineland, you know, going 100 miles and hour and I’m basically gonna tear him apart. That belt is mine and I’m gonna punch him in the face, I’m gonna stop the takedown, I’m gonna punch him in the face again and he’s gonna fall down and I’m gonna win.”

If the Honey Badger proves he’s the best Bantamweight in the UFC on June 15th, you can expect him to keeping moving up from there. Although Wineland wasn’t too picky when asked who he would want to fight next, you can almost guarantee that a match up between him and Dominick Cruz lays on the horizon.

The Honey Badger is out to prove that he is the best bantamweight in the UFC on June 15th. While most will say that he doesn’t stand a chance against Barão, we can almost bet that as each day gets closer to UFC 161, the Honey Badger is continuing to sharpen his claws and prepare for battle. Like the saying goes… “the honey badger don’t quit!”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 1 Comment » | Permalink | Trackback |

One Response to “Eddie Wineland: Honey Badger Don’t Quit”

  1. RST says:

    The Honey Badger?

    Although still being a bit vague on what exactly it is,
    I think I may have just experienced a moment of transphobia.


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