Calie “The Honey Badger” Cutler (5-3) is a 26-year-old fighter out of Michigan who recently signed on with Big Fight Management, according to president Wade Hampel. Wade informed Pro MMA Now Calie has graduated to the big leagues and a major matchup is expected to be announced shortly.
So we figured this was the perfect time to catch up with “The Honey Badger” to find out more about the Jacked N Tan Fight Team member who is coming off a third round TKO win over Mariah Prussia (5-2) at RFA 40 in July.
How and why people get started in mixed martial arts is varied, but generally speaking it is from people who want to fight, or fight back, who have experienced something in life that pushes them to want to try something new or take a stand.
“I got into MMA because I needed something to replace wrestling,” Calie explained. “I was wrestling in college when my brother died. I originally went back to school for a year but was failing classes due to very bad anxiety because he died in a very bad way. I decided to take a break from life and move back home to Michigan. I sat on my ass for the most miserable year of my life (but I needed it). After some time I decided I wanted to be happy again. So I decided to give MMA a try.”
Calie’s MMA path started like many, with wrestling. However, that wasn’t her first choice. It was reactionary after cheerleading didn’t work out. That’s right, she went from wanting to be a cheerleader to wrestling, and now look where she is. People are cheering for her.
“I got into wrestling in seventh grade because I didn’t make the cheer team,” Calie said. “I was being raised by a single father with two brothers and I desperately wanted to paint my nails and have giggle time with other girls, but after getting rejected like that I headed towards the path I was meant to take. Wrestling.”
Many MMA fighters come from a wrestling background and it has long been considered probably the best base skillset from which to start. Yet it is still not hugely popular among females, especially in grade school where the Barbie Doll archetype still has a foothold.
“I ended up being the only girl on the Stockbridge [wrestling] team for six years,” Calie said. “I headed on to three years of women’s college wrestling at Jamestown college. Wrestling is the best thing that has ever happened to me, I always consider it my first love.”
Since making her pro debut a couple years ago, Calie has fought for such notable regional shows as Ring of Combat, King of the Cage, and most recently, Resurrection Fighting Alliance. Now on the precipice of taking the next step in her professional career, Calie reflects from whence she came.
“My biggest win was my first win which also happened to be my first fight,” she explained.
That fight was against Brittany “Too Smooth” Dugas at King of the Cage in May 2014. Calie ended up submitting her with an armbar 49-seconds into the third round.
“I will never forget the feeling after winning that match,” she said. “I knew I was in love again, but I also knew I was here to stay. I left wrestling with a sour taste in my mouth and I feel like it went unfinished. I never made my true potential with wrestling. I actually had nightmares for four years telling me to go back to Jamestown and wrestling lol.”
Fighters fight, that’s what they do. It’s an instinctual part of themselves that they tap into. In the end, we are all fighting for something better. And for mixed martial artists like Calie, the fight is to become the best version of themselves possible.
“I promised myself I wasn’t going to sell myself short after my first fight and I was going to reach my potential no matter what it took this time around,” Calie said.
And the journey continues.