WSOF 34 light heavyweight Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun is headed to New York City, from Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand, to take on Smealinho Rama at the Madison Square Garden Theater on New Years Eve. WSOF 34 will air live on December 31, 2016 at 2:30 P.M. EST on NBCSN, then continue on NBC at 4:00 P.M. EST. Before returning to his home soil in the United States, Jake Heun spoke with Bloody Elbow about applying for a license with the New York State Athletic Commission, the Visa situation for an American training abroad in Thailand, and aspirations of passing cobra-skin shoes through U.S. Customs.
Taking a fight outside of the WSOF promotion while still under contract:
“Yeah, they were cool with it. They understood the predicament I was in, man. I haven’t fought since Vinny [Magalhaes] back in April, and we were supposed to fight about 4 different times but things just kept on happening. Cards got cancelled and this, that, and the other thing so they let me do it. It was more for me just to get back into the cage and have a fight before I come out and got to fight Rama. I wouldn’t want to take 9 months off and then have to fight this dude ‘cuz he’s kind of tough haha.”
The move up to heavyweight, except not:
“This fight’s at light heavyweight. All of the news outlets have it at heavyweight. It’s at 205... Damn media people, get your lives together haha.”
Fighting at WSOF 34 in New York City:
“There’s 2 places I’ve always wanted to fight; I’ve wanted to fight at Madison Square Garden and Saitama [Super Arena]. So, I’m going to get to knock this one off, and then hopefully sometime in the near future I get to knock off Saitama. If you think about the fights that have gone down at the Garden, bro; crazy, bro.”
Getting licensed through the New York State Athletic Commission:
“New York has made it a pain in the ass to get licensed to fight there. They did not make it easy. I mean I got it all done, but there were a lot of medicals that went into this, even for Vegas and California and those places. Like man, I need an MRI inside of a year? I need to get all these extra blood tests? Come on guys, relax.”
Plans to watch “The Ball” drop on New Years Eve?
“I’m making no plans past the fight just because with the way Rama fights, and the way I fight, there’s a very good chance I could probably spend the evening in the hospital getting stitched up. So, I’m going to do it with that outlook, but “The Honey Bear” loves to party so I’m sure I’ll find something. I got some cobra-skin shoes made up over here too so I’m not bring them over there for nothing. I’m hoping I can get them through customs.”
Sizing up Smealinho Rama:
“He’s a thumper, man. I really don’t think there’s going to be a real size difference between us to tell you the truth. We both walk around right around 225; I think I’m probably a little leaner actually. He moves really well; he’s a southpaw. I think he’s one of the rare southpaws in the heavier divisions that actually kind of understands how to be a southpaw, how to use it. But I’m undefeated against southpaws also, so that’s fun for me.”
Training in Phuket, Thailand at Tiger Muay Thai:
“The training is just on another level. You try to keep that like Thai pace of pad-work for 5 minutes, and do round of that, if you can do that your ass is in shape. You’re not going to see the Jake that showed up to a couple fights with a beer gut. I’m going to be in shape for this one. I love Tiger man. The culture is great, the people are great. Tiger really takes care of their guys, too. They put us up, they feed us, they house us. It’s a real good thing we got going on.”
American Visa for Thailand:
“The way it works is, you can get, as an American, you can get a 30 day entry Visa, and then you go down to immigration and they give you an extra 30 days. Coming back this next time, I plan on being here for a year straight, so I’m going to probably try and get an Education Visa, and either learn Thai, or technically I think I can get an Education Visa learning Muay Thai.”
Not bellybutton f***ing guys:
“I’m trying to get paid, bro. I may have a record of 10-5, but one thing that I feel like can never be said about me, is that Jake Heun was in a boring fight. I’m not going out there bellybutton f***ing guys, you know. I think this sport needs to get back where it used to be. Where guys were fighting to win, they weren’t fighting to not lose. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen fights that I thought were going to be good fights, where dudes are just sitting there exchanging jabs for 15 minutes because they’re both so afraid to lose and lose their contract. It’s rough man. I’m going to come out this fight and throw some heat...”
Watch Jake “The Honey Bear” Heun take on Smealinho Rama at WSOF 34 in New York City on New Years Eve. WSOF 34 can be seen live on December 31, 2016 at 2:30 P.M. EST on NBCSN, and on NBC at 4:00 P.M. EST. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for all of your MMA event coverage including interviews, play-by-play, highlights, and more!