Brenneman headlining MMA card at Jaffa event

Charlie Brenneman is dropping down in weight class in an effort to get back on top in the cage.

Out of UFC and coming off a two-bout losing skid, Brenneman, the Hollidaysburg Area High School product, will headline Saturday night’s Valley Fight League 40 mixed martial arts and boxing card at Altoona’s Jaffa Shrine.

The 11-match event starts at 7 p.m.

“I just want to win. I miss that feeling,” said Brenneman, who fell to Kyle Noke by technical knockout in his last fight on Sept. 22. “It’s no secret I want to get in and get out as fast as possible. It doesn’t matter how I do it.”

Brenneman takes a 15-5 record into his bout with Missouri’s Eric Irvin. Brenneman, who has been fighting as a welterweight (170 pounds), has decided to move to lightweight (155 pounds) in an effort to regain his momentum.

“I was always a small welterweight,” Brenneman said. “Once I got cut from UFC, I thought if there ever was a time to [move down in weight], now was the time. So I decided to go for it.”

Irvin, 27, is 5-1.

“He’s tough. He has a wrestling background. He has some high-level training partners,” Brenneman said.

There will be three other pro MMA bouts on the undercard along with five amateur bouts and two boxing matches.

Promoter Lionell Royer thinks that, while the big story will be Brenneman’s effort to get back into the win column, there are several other interesting stories developing.

“Brett Shoenfelt, who is from Altoona, is 3-3, but two of those losses are to a kid from West Virginia [Josh Baker] who is good, and they were really close fights,” Royer said.

Shoenfelt will be meeting Antwan Penn in a rematch from Sept. 15. Shoenfelt won the earlier encounter on a referee stoppage due to strikes.

The other pro bouts have two-time Pitt-Johnstown wrestling All-American Eli Garschnick taking on Donald Crawford Jr., while Matthew Dean faces Corey Popanz.

In the amateur bouts, Altoona native Paul Riggleman returns home to make his debut against Justin Gallaher, and Jordan Haselrig – the son of former Pittsburgh Steeler Carlton Haselrig of Johnstown – meets Ryan Everhart.

In addition, there’ll be two boxing matches. Andres Taylor will tangle with Harvey Jolly in an eight-round cruiserweight bout, while Altoona heavyweight Jeremiah Witherspoon takes on Rocky Burch.

“It’s a variety. As a promoter, it’s something I like doing. The old-school people like boxing, and mixed martial arts is popular with a lot of the younger generation,” Royer said.

Tickets can be purchased by calling 304-283-3053 or 304-283-2941 or by going online to