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‘Spaniard’ savoring home win

January 21, 2013
By Matt Michelone - For the Mirror , The Altoona Mirror

Charlie "The Spaniard" Brenneman was removed from Ultimate Fighting Championship's Welterweight division last October.

He wasted no time dropping down to the lightweight division and working toward making his way back to mixed martial arts' ultimate stage.

After dropping down in weight class, the Hollidaysburg native made his debut in his new class by defeating Eric Irvin at Valley Fight League 40's Broad Avenue Brawlers 6, a mixed martial arts and boxing card at an energetic Jaffa Shrine.

Brenneman's victory was achieved at the 2:09 mark of the second round when he managed to get Irvin into a rear-naked chokehold.

"As soon as the ref stepped [in] right after and separated us after I won, the eruption at the Jaffa was awesome because I knew my friends and family were there," Brenneman said.

Brenneman was greeted with chants of "Spaniard, Spaniard'' throughout the fight and after the victory. The chance to fight near home was a surprise.

"It wasn't something I was planning on, and I didn't think I'd have the opportunity," he said. "It kind of came out of nowhere. As soon as we found out about it, we jumped on it."

After the fight was finished, he couldn't have been more energized by the chance to compete at home and get the victory.

"I came home, got to fight in front of my home crowd [and] drop down to a new weight class," Brenneman said. "I felt great, I felt powerful. It felt a lot better than fighting those guys at 170 [pounds].''

After the bout was finished, he felt he had to bring himself into focus on the moment that he was a part of, regardless of the result.

"Immediately when the fight's over, I have to pinch myself. Either way, the hard work paid off, or just did not pay off," he said.

Brenneman also expressed thanks to his local sponsors at Sheetz, Kranich's Jewelers, Al's Tavern, Summit Tennis & Athletic Club, and RC Print for supporting him every step of the way.

"It's been tremendous," Brenneman said. "As fighters, we get paid to fight. Any sponsorship we get is important, and those guys have been very loyal."

There have been no set plans for when "The Spaniard" will fight next, but he hopes to return to the cage by March or April.

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