By Lance Edwards
Evan “The Butcher” Cutts is a Legacy Fighting Championship and Bellator series veteran looking to make his LFA debut at LFA 40. Cutts will be facing Fortis MMA standout, the undefeated Ramiz Brahimaj (6-0). Brahimaj is hotly tipped as a rising star, and a win for Cutts will see him make a sharp ascent in the rankings.
Cutts started training American karate in his late teens, and after testing himself with some friends decided he needed to become better rounded. He met his now business partner, UFC veteran Johnny Bedford, and started his path in MMA. Cutts bought into Fitness Fight Factory in Colleyville, TX. A strong grappler, Cutts earned his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt from Brandon Quik in February of 2017.
Cutts’ last fight was in June of 2016, when he defeated a tough opponent, Marcus Sanchez (8-1).
“Marcus Sanchez was on a run at the time of 8-0. He also was 6-0 in boxing as well. He had a strong right hand. I don’t know if he was trying to make a statement and KO me. I’m hard to stop. He popped me a couple of times, but I’m hard to finish. In the second round, I caught him in a choke. It wasn’t all the way in so it ended up as a crank/ guillotine. I heard a couple of pops and he submitted. It was one of my best performances. I’ve had fifteen pro fights, if you include the exhibition bouts on the Bellator series, and twenty if you include my amateur fights. I’m at a comfort level that I haven’t had before. I now am interested in lots of sports psychology. I really like the Jocko podcast. he was a Navy Seal and gives a lot of good information.”
At twenty-seven years old, Cutts is at a different place in his career. He has a family, a wife and children and finds them to be an inspiration.
“Now it’s time to make some big strides in my career. I have a reason I need to be successful, and it makes it easier to put that extra work in, to go to do weights at 9 pm and put in the extra reps. I try and explain to my son that I’m not always there at bedtime because what you do when no-one is looking is what matters. I’m putting in the work to perform. I’m trying to give him the philosophy that you need to work hard and put the work in.”
Cutts was due to fight Jaleel Willis (8-1) at LFA 28 in December but was forced to pull out.
“In the training camp I had a knee injury. I didn’t need surgery, but it was eight-to-ten weeks of therapy. In January/February time I got back on the mats, but had to be careful and training around it. In the past I’ve been guilty of not doing weights, not stretching after a session, those kinds of things. There’s a science to balance in the body and protecting yourself from injuries. We used to see fighters in their peak in their thirties, that’s because it takes a while to get experience. With people starting much younger now, we will see fighters peak younger. I’ve got a few more years left in the sport and want to make it count. As you get older you need to take better care of yourself.”
Ramiz Brahimaj is a tough opponent, having finished five of his six opponents.
“He’ll try and punch with overhands and go for the takedown. I like the way he double legs and overhooks the back. I like guys attacking like that. I have a gator choke which is an anaconda choke I like to use. I like guillotines and chokes and perform well in a scramble. I’m interested to see if his camp gets him to stand. I’d like to keep him on the end of my punches as my reach is much better. It forces people to shoot in on me, which is what I like.”
Fighting for LFA is something Cutts has wanted to do for a while, and he’s hoping that this is the first of a number of fights with the promotion.
“We’ll see what happens with the new change of ownership. I enjoy performing, that’s part of the game. In high school, we had a heavy metal band. I loved being on stage with the public watching. With Ramiz, his fights have been short. I have four to five times more time in the cage than him. I’d like to take it to deep waters. I feel that will be in my advantage.
“I’d like to thank Tony Myers. He started a business, Aquamedic, and it’s done well for him. Dr Jimmy Labrecque, he has a chiropractic company, they’ve done a lot for me. Chiropractors are like preachers, they can be good or bad. He’s great. Thanks to Airosti as well and Dr. Jamil Vohra. Between the three of them, they have kept me healthy. Also thanks to Johnny Bedford, Rafael Casias and Brandon Quik. Brandon does a lot with his competition now, but he’s really helped with my grappling game. Thanks to Katy Cutts and my brother Brian Cutts, who does my strength and conditioning. Thanks to Jesus Christ, I can’t do it without the Holy Spirit. If I died in the cage, which isn’t likely to happen, it’s a safe sport, I’d be taken care of. This is a crazy sport, but I don’t like to talk about fights like they are a war or battle. This is a sport. I find it disrespectful to the guys who go off and defend our country to talk like that. MMA is a sport, it’s a tough sport, but I respect all the troops who put their lives on the line.”