After Fighting Like a ‘Novice,’ Brenneman Refocused for Roberts


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Charlie Brenneman just couldn’t get going against Anthony Johnson in October, losing 2:49 into the first round on a head kick.

He’ll look to bounce back Jan. 20, though, against Daniel Roberts at UFC on FX “Guillard vs. Miller.” Ahead of the bout, he joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show to discuss the matchup, his loss to Johnson and more.

On what went wrong against Johnson: “A thing that makes a good wrestler a great wrestler in MMA is the ability to throw punches and then transition to takedowns right off of that. In the Johnson fight, I looked like a novice. I don’t even know if I threw one punch. I was diving with my head down and my arms flared out. … I think I respected his standup way too much and then that threw me off of my game completely.”

On whether referee Mario Yamasaki intervened too quickly: “I’m kind of in the position of, it happened, so it really doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks. He definitely clocked me. The ref, Yamasaki, jumped in and he wasn’t looking at me. He was actually facing Anthony when he jumped in. I think he kind of assumed that I was going to be out cold. I wasn’t out cold. Did he definitely rock me? Yes, it rocked me. I don’t have any idea if I would have been able to grab him and hold him or if he would have just catapulted on top of me. It’s really hard to say. In hindsight, I’m healthy. I live to fight another day. That’s all right with me.”

On Daniel Roberts: “He’s durable, to say the least. He’s one of those guys that people might say, ‘Brenneman should beat him,’ but he’s so dangerous and explosive with his submissions. … If I go into it anything other than 100 percent, then I’m not going to be on the good end of it.”

On Roberts’ submission ability: “I don’t think I’ll be able to just sit [in the guard] and waste time comfortably. … He’s just really good in scrambles. Any shots that I take, any finishes that I take, it’s got to be right to dominant position. Anytime that I stop halfway, that’s going to leave me open and leave me vulnerable.”

On whether he’ll look to strike with Roberts: “This is a fight where, I think, with the proper game plan, I’ll be able to keep him guessing. I always say that three out of my last four opponents had bricks for hands. If you look at [Johny] Hendricks, [Rick] Story and Anthony Johnson, those are all heavy-duty strikers with heavy-duty knockout power. Roberts is a different type of fighter. Hopefully that will give me a little bit more liberty to do some striking.”

On the year he hopes to have in 2012: “Anthony kind of put me in my place and made me reassess how I was going to go about progressing. Beating Daniel will be solid for me. It will hopefully help me develop as a fighter. Then after that, I’m not looking to get a contender. I don’t know if I would deserve a contender right away, but it’s one of those things where I’m just looking at this year … to solidify myself and my career in the welterweight division.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 47:13).

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