Charlie Brenneman was the ‘story’ of the night at UFC on Versus 4, and not his opponent, Rick Story, who’s last name is easily inserted into clever headlines.
Brenneman truly seized the day, taking a fight on 24 hours notice and stealing the spotlight with an impressive unanimous decision win over the fighter out of Brave Legion in the Northwestern United States.
It’s not easy taking a fight on that short of notice, but maybe it was the fact that he had already been training for a fight with TJ Grant on the same card — a bout that was cancelled due to Grant’s need to withdraw due to illness. Brenneman trained, was ready to make weight, and already in a frame-of-mine that gave him a game face up until five days prior to the Sunday fight card.
Five days made no difference in preparation, apparently.
Brenneman out-wrestled a strong wrestler and made the boss happy with the UFC’s decision to call him up to step in for the now-unemployed Nate Marquardt.
“We’re very lucky in the UFC that we’ve got guys like Rick Story, Brenneman, all these guys that will step up when bad things happen,” White said after the evening of fights. “These guys will step up and put on a show like the show you saw tonight.”
Brenneman was impressive, hands down. Coming into the limelight and stealing the thunder of who many considered the next big welterweight star was something out of a movie script, according the UFC president.
Which movie might you ask? That one about that boxer from Philly with the slurred accent.
“His fight tonight was a Rocky story here in his hometown,” White said. “He’s getting a shot at the kid who’s hot and on his way to a title shot. He takes the fight and comes in and wins it. That’s the other thing about this sport; you never know who’s going to win. You never do.”
Brenneman, who’s win on Sunday night was arguably more substantial than any other of his career, had an emotional week leading into the fight with Story. At first he has a fight, then doesn’t have a fight. Then he gets a call that he should show up at weigh-ins because he could fight. Before he knows it, he’s in the co-main event.
No sweat , right? Just be a pro and you’ll be just fine.
“This whole week has been roller coaster,” Brenneman said. “To be honest, when we got to weigh-ins, you might have to wait until 3:59, 4:00, you might not even know until tomorrow that you’re fighting. What can I do other than sit there and try to remain professional, try to do what I do? It worked out.”
Well, Brenneman did just that and he’s now riding roller coaster all the way to the winner’s circle.
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Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
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