Brenneman hoping to find success at 155
There are plenty of peaks and valleys in the Ultimate Fighting Championships world.
Nobody knows that better than Hollidaysburg native Charlie Brenneman.
The former Hollidaysburg Area High School and Lock Haven University wrestling standout was released from the UFC in September 2012 despite posting 19 victories in his first 24 fights as a 170-pound welterweight.
Outside of the UFC, Brenneman dropped to the 155-pound lightweight division and won four fights, including three by submission, to earn an invitation to return to the UFC for a short-notice bout Jan. 15 in Atlanta.
He was given just two weeks to prepare, and lost the whirlwind matchup in one minute, 45 seconds to Californian Beneil Dariush at the Gwinnett Center.
“He was undefeated, a high-level black-belt jiujitsu, so it wasn’t like I lost to bad competition,” Brenneman, 32, said of the 24-year-old Dariush. “But at the same time, I don’t think I performed to my true potential. My first fight back didn’t go my way. It was a blur – I was there, went home, and couldn’t believe that it all happened.
“Just the overall experience was so rushed,” added Brenneman, who now lives in the Harrisburg suburb of Middletown with his wife, Amanda, and their newborn daughter, Gracie. “I’m looking forward to the next [fight] to take my time and really enjoy the whole process.”
Brenneman’s next fight may happen as early as April.
“We’re very excited that he’s back and we feel that he’s primed to make a run at 155 pounds,” said Brenneman’s older brother and fight advisor, Ben. “We’re in a situation where he’s back in training and we’re just waiting for a call for his next fight.”
Charlie Brenneman’s training regimen has been a rigorous one that involves workouts six days a week.
“I normally have one day off, train two times a day for five days, and have another single workout on the next day,” he said. “Between the traveling and training and being a dad, it’s been pretty busy. But I really enjoy what I’m doing, so it’s definitely worth it.”
Charlie Brenneman is thankful for the support that he’s received from many factions – principally his wife, who was one of his former classmates at Lock Haven University, as well as the rest of his family, and his friends and sponsors, which include the Summit Tennis and Athletic Club, and Sheetz, Inc.
“There are a lot of ups and downs in the sport, and my wife has been very supportive of what I do, which is extremely important because I’m away from home for periods of time,” he said. “From the beginning, all the support I’ve received has gotten me through the tough times.”