Brenneman Content to Bide Time at 170

By Brian Knapp and David S. Holloway Jan 28, 2011
Charlie Brenneman sounds like a man willing to climb the ladder one rung at a time.

The 29-year-old AMA Fight Club representative picked up his second Octagon victory in three appearances at UFC “Fight for the Troops 2” on Jan. 22, as he took a unanimous decision from Amilcar Alves at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Despite his successes in the cage, Brenneman seems content to earn his keep inside the UFC’s talent-rich welterweight division.

“I’m looking to fight someone who is at my level in the UFC,” Brenneman told “I’m not really in a hurry to fight top contenders at this point. I’m improving by leaps and bounds each fight, so I’m happy taking my time.”

A decorated collegiate wrestler, Brenneman used his strengths to subdue Alves. The Hollidaysburg, Pa., native grounded the Brazilian repeatedly, compromised his guard and neutralized him with strikes from the top. Brenneman took all three rounds from Alves, a Nova Uniao product who had won eight of his previous nine fights.

“I implemented my game plan almost perfectly,” Brenneman said. “I knew I had to get him to the mat and overwhelm him. I knew once I got him there I would be able to dictate the pace of the fight.”

In defeating Alves, Brenneman showed the kind of resolve top promotions seek in their fighters, as he rebounded from only his second professional setback -- a second-round technical knockout loss at the hands of Johny Hendricks at UFC 117 in August. That defeat spurred “The Spaniard” to return to training and improve his skills. It showed against Alves.

“It’s a testament to the hard work I’ve been putting in,” Brenneman said. “Every single day, I work to get better, and I absolutely hate losing, so it makes for a nice week of relaxation.”

As for what will be next on his plate, Brenneman remains open to whatever the UFC has in store, though he would welcome a much-talked-about rematch with John Howard, the first man to defeat him. Howard, who owns a 4-2 mark in the UFC, took a unanimous decision from Brenneman under the Ring of Combat banner in September 2008.

“I get asked that question a lot,” Brenneman said. “To be honest, I’m indifferent to the idea. If it happens, it happens. There are so many other guys to fight in the UFC, but if a rematch was offered, I’d take it in a heartbeat.”

Spreading out his training between the AMA Fight Club and academies run by Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida, Brenneman believes he has developed in all aspects of MMA.

“Absolutely, especially on my feet, but in this particular fight [with Alves], I didn’t get to show it off,” he said. “My Brazilian jiu-jitsu for MMA has improved greatly, as well: passing, transitioning and mounting multiple times a very legit black belt in Alves. From watching the video, though, I saw several instances in which I should have capitalized.”

Brenneman has clear goals to work towards, as he wraps up his first full year in the UFC.

“I want to build a streak, three, four wins in a row, and put myself in good standing with the UFC and the fans,” he said. “I’ll be back training ASAP.”
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