Fighting before a hometown crowd for the first time in her career, Invicta FC Flyweight Champion Barb Honchak looks to defend her title for a second time. Her Invicta FC 9 challenger; Japan’s Takayo Hashi.
Corey Smith: November 1st will mark the fifth time you have fought for Invicta FC, making you one of the longest tenured athletes in the promotion. Are your comfortable being one of the most well known Invicta FC athletes? How has your relationship been with the company?
Barb Honchak: InvictaFC has been good to me. They are always accessible to their athletes and have always been honest and upfront with me.
CS: What were your thoughts when you first learned of the Inivcta FightPass deal?
BH: Job Security! I had faith in InvictaFC’s longevity from the beginning, but the hiatus over the last year was a little unnerving.
CS: The UFC now has two female weight divisions, below and above your current weight class. Have you given any thought to potentially fighting for the UFC?
BH: Yes, I have thought about fighting for the UFC. I think any and all fighters look for that opportunity. I would certainly consider an offer from the UFC.
CS: You have a degree in Molecular Biology, along with a Masters degree in Ecology and Genetics. What job does one utilize those degrees in?
BH: The last job I held utilizing my degree was as a laboratory manager at Washington University in St. Louis. I have held several positions as a lab technician. The degrees are wide reaching in that the skills I acquired allowed me to have options of working in natural science or medical science.
CS: Your fighting career is very unique for the science field. Are your colleagues aware of your fighting career? What type of feedback do you receive from them?
BH: I no longer work in the field. But when I did, I certainly had some awkward weeks trying to explain my black eyes, cuts or staph infections to people. I got pretty talented with my makeup application but of course I had many mixed reactions regarding my injuries. I initially did not tell anyone what I did, but as the injuries built up; more and more people became privy to what I did outside of the University.
CS: This will be the first time you fight before what will essentially be a hometown crowd. What advantages do you believe that brings? Any disadvantages?
BH: So far, I see no disadvantages. I feel like my hometown crowd will provide amazing and exciting energy for me during the fight. I can cook in my own kitchen for my entire weight cut and will not have to find dog sitters! I am very excited that after the fight, I will be sleeping in my own bed and will have no airport time to make the next morning.
CS: Your opponent on November 1st. Takayo Hashi, has won titles in two Japanese promotions, along with challenging for the Strikeforce title. Do you believe her championship experience will add to her in ring skills?
BH: Yes, having experience of championship rounds and how you perform during those rounds is an advantage that I am not sure all of my opponents have had. She has been there so there is less fear of it for her.
CS: Backstage before your bout, how would you describe your mindest? We see some fighters quiet and nervous until they are in the cage, while others are loud and boisterous the entire night.
BH: Every fight is different, but I am usually pretty relaxed and quiet.
CS: What types of activities do you enjoy to help you recharge or keep focus during training camp?
BH: I like joking around with my friends and team but mostly I am a homebody and enjoy time with my husband and pets.
CS: Lastly, MMA takes a team to succeed alone inside the cage. Who would you like to thank?
BH: I have so many great teammates at MFS and could not be where I am with out them. My coach Junior Hernandez gets the most credit for my success along with Josh Howatt, Pat Miletich, Nate Schroeder and Jens Pulver.
Invicta FC 9 takes place November 1st live from the RiverCenter in Davenport, Iowa.
Tickets are on sale via the Ticketmaster link below.
The full card will air live via UFC Fight Pass. Click below to subscribe to UFC FightPass.