Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman is on his way to Brazil to face Leandro Silva in a must-win fight for both men. Charlie’s UFC debut took place four years ago when he defeated Jason High. What has happened between then and now is nothing short of a rollercoaster of epic proportions. Including his defeat of Jason High, he also defeated the likes of  Daniel Roberts and Rick Story. Along the way he also fought Anthony Johnson, Johnny Hendricks, and Erik Silva as well. After suffering two consecutive losses in 2012, he was handed his walking papers. In total, his UFC record was four wins and four losses in the UFC’s welterweight division. After reflecting on his experience in the UFC, he made the decision to drop from welterweight down to lightweight.

On the regional scene, Brenneman put together a four-fight win streak and captured the CFFC Lightweight Championship just before receiving the call from the UFC informing him that they wanted him back on their roster. Around this time, he also became a father and things were looking up. In his return, he faced Beniel Dariush on short notice and found himself submitting in round 1 of the bout. Four months later, he found himself losing Danny Castillo. This brings us to the present day and The MMA Corner had the opportunity to speak with Brenneman leading up to his upcoming must-win bout against Leandro Silva at UFC Fight Night 56.

Around the time that Brenneman made his return to the UFC, he was also adjusting to his new life as a father.  Having a child changes everything, and over the past six months he has been able to find the proper balance in his life. Now training closer to home in Philadelphia and going out to New Jersey once a week to train at the new Miller Brother’s Gym, he believes the new regimen has gotten him into position to perform in the way he knows he can on fight night.

Obviously, this is a critical fight for Charlie. He explained, “At this point in my career, I know how much talent I have, and how much I have to show, but none of that means anything if you don’t perform on fight night.” Regarding his six-month layoff between fights, Charlie said, “”I’m a much better person and a much better fighter since April. It’s been a full six months of training and bettering myself; six months is a long time to better myself and that’s exactly what I have done.”

Brenneman’s opposition, Leandro Silva, will have the home field advantage and brings with him an excellent record of sixteen wins, two losses, and one draw. While Silva’s record is impressive it lacks the level of competitors that Brenneman has been tested by. In Silva’s two previous UFC appearances he has faced some quality talent, but he has come up short both times. Charlie was quick to point out, “four of his (Silva) last wins are against sub-.500 guys with three and two records.” With the knowledge that he needs to get a win back under his belt to continue with the UFC, Brenneman pointed out that Silva is one of the few fighters he would have chosen to face if given the opportunity to choose.  He also went on to say, “I think it’s an appropriate fight for me at this time.” “I don’t feel out of place saying that I’m probably the toughest guy that he has ever fought.” Charlie went on to express respect for Leandro, admitting that to get to the UFC you have to be a top athlete and acknowledged that he had proven himself to get to where he is. That being said, Brenneman doesn’t see any areas that Silva can best him in.

When asked what he foresaw for Sunday morning after the fight he said,  “I know 100% I don’t feel like having a 16 hour flight home sulking, so I’m going to do everything I can to get the win.” With a bit of a chip on his shoulder, he went on to explain that he is done worrying about the haters and opinions. Making note of the sports short term view he said, “People remember me being knocked out by Castillo and tapped out by Dariush, but just the fight before that I handled Kyle Baker, who is probably the toughest guy I fought. I just want to perform and that performance will remind people that this is the guy that beat Rick Story; this is the guy that just handled Kyle Baker.”





About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.