Trainer: Brenneman Would Have Fought GSP on Short Notice Too

By Sherdog.com Staff Jul 18, 2011
Mike Constantino believed there was nothing to lose.

The AMA Fight Club trainer, who trains and manages Charlie Brenneman (Pictured, file photo), knew his fighter could beat Rick Story at UFC Live 4 even without a chance to prepare for the bout.

In fact, he would have let Brenneman fight UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre under the same conditions.

“You could have put anybody in the Octagon that night, and Charlie would have fought him,” Constantino said recently during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “There’s nobody in the UFC in any division that my guys are in that they wouldn’t fight. Charlie would have fought GSP if he was put in front of him. Jimmy [Miller] would fight the champ. Dan [Miller] would fight Anderson Silva. There’s nothing that’s ever going to make my fighters say, ‘Oh, I don’t want that fight.’”

After his scheduled matchup against T.J. Grant fell through just days before the event, Brenneman was put on standby by the UFC and told to stay on weight. Then when headliner Nate Marquardt was not cleared to fight Story, Brenneman was inserted the day before the bout.

“He went from not having a fight to being on the main card as the co-main event against a fighter that had six wins in a row,” Constantino said, “including wins over [Dustin] Hazelett, [Johny] Hendricks, Thiago ‘Pitbull’ [Alves]. There was really no losing for us. I truly believed in Charlie. I truly believed he could win the fight and personally, I loved the matchup. I felt in my heart Charlie was the better wrestler.”

Wrestling was key to the strategy too, especially on such short notice.

“We put together a real quick game plan and we drilled,” Constantino said. “We only had less than a day to do it. We drilled one simple combo. We drilled a quick game plan and then some points of interest like putting him on his back and different types of things to do.”

Brenneman executed perfectly, stunning Story to win a unanimous decision. In Constantino’s view, though, the victory wasn’t such a surprise.

“I knew what [Brenneman] had as far as wrestling,” he said. “I put him right up there with anybody in the division as far as wrestling. I think that Charlie puts it together better than anybody in the division. I mean, really, his punches into the takedowns -- you saw that overhand right into the outside trip takedowns. He’s sucking up low singles and single legs, and just the speed and accuracy of his takedowns are world class.”

They worked on Story, keeping him off balance and giving Brenneman the biggest win of his career after what might have also been the wildest week.

Said Constantino, “That was pretty much the craziest roller coaster that I’ve ever been on.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 24:58).

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