clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WSOF 22's Jake Heun speaks up for Chris Leben, talks about fighting Davin Clark on Saturday night

"Honey Bear" Heun will headline the "Prelims" portion of WSOF 22: "Palhares vs. Shields" this weekend. And he intends to make the most of his latest opportunity.

Lucas Noonan/WSOF

Light Heavyweight fighter Jake Heun is certainly relentless when it comes to pursuing a finish. Four of his seven mixed martial arts (MMA) wins have come via technical knockout.

That success helped the Anchorage, Alaska, native work his way up to World Series of Fighting (WSOF), where he scored a unanimous decision victory at WSOF 11: "Gaethje vs. Newell" in July 2014. However, "Honey bear" was caught in a trap by former UFC and Bellator fighter Clifford Starks at WSOF 19, tapping to an arm-triangle choke.

Regardless, Heun (7-4) has the potential to be a contender in promotion's still-developing Light Heavyweight division, one which has yet to crown a champion, if he can put together a few wins in a row. The debuting Davin Clark (5-2-2) -- who Heun will battle at WSOF 22: "Palhares vs. Shields" this Saturday night (Aug. 1, 2015) inside Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada -- undoubtedly feels the same, still smarting from a technical knockout loss to Joe Vedepo at Bellator 129. spoke with Heun about being in the featured fight of the WSOF 22 "Prelims" card and what his plans are to stop "Relentless" Davin Clark in their upcoming showdown. He's on target to hit the 205-pound division limit for the bout with just a few days left to step on the scale.

"Weight's good! I actually just stepped on the scale and it was 212, so I'm light. I had every intention of going down to (1)85 for this next fight and then when they finally decided they wanted to give me a fight they told me it was at 205 again. It's kind of nice, I've actually been able to eat a little bit more and not be such a lunatic about my weight."

A "Honey Bear" has got to eat, right? Heun actually got the moniker from someone who knows all about having a memorable nickname in the cage, "The Crippler" Chris Leben.

"I was in Vegas when Chris Leben fought Wanderlei (Silva). We were all sitting up in the room, and Chris had one of those -- you know those bears of honey -- the containers that are shaped like bears? He kinda looked at it and he goes 'This thing looks just like Jake! Jake's a honey bear!!' It just kinda stuck from there."

Unfortunately, Leben -- who retired from UFC/MMA in Jan. 2014 -- is currently making headlines, but not the good kind. As the drama continues to unfold, Heun offered his own take on the kind of friend -- and man -- Leben is in real life.

"You know I tried to call him the other day and I couldn't get a hold of him. I lived with the guy for a while, he's a lot of things, but one thing he's not is a guy who's going to touch a woman. I know for a fact that's not something that he would do. I'd see him around his now ex-wife and she was not an easy person to deal with by any means."

It's honorable of Heun to stand up for his friend, but the situation appears to be a bit disturbing. As we wait for his innocence or guilt to be proven either way, we move on to happier things like Heun's fight with Clark.

"I'm excited to fight a guy whose skill set is on the feet. I was getting ready to fight Teddy Holder last time and because of that I focused a lot on keeping it on the feet. Teddy's a banger as you could see -- I mean the kid knocked out Thiago Silva. That's no small task! I really wish I had taken that fight. Hat's off to Teddy on that."

There were numerous last-minute changes at WSOF 19, but Heun makes no excuses for things going wrong in his last fight, including an illegal knee that earned him a one point deduction.

"That was just a mental lapse on my part. I think if I had thrown three more uppercuts instead of throwing that knee I probably would have ended the fight. I was trying to throw the knee toward the body there and I just misplaced it. I don't ever want to be thought of as a dirty fighter, that I did that with any type of malice. I'm not an asshole."

"Honey Bear" definitely comes across as friendly, but he's willing to admit that even if he doesn't get the stand up war he wants, he's not above pissing off the crowd to get the win.

"At the end of the day what it comes down to on this one, as much as I sit here and tell you that I want to go out there and put on an exciting fight and all that happy horseshit that everybody always says, I'm looking for a win man! If it comes down to it and I gotta be freaking Ben Askren in this fight and belly hump a guy to death I'll do it."

Heun's honesty and sense of humor will win people over -- and hopefully the crowd inside Planet Hollywood Casino this Saturday night, too.

The complete audio of our interview is below and complete WSOF coverage resides right here at


Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania