Chris ‘The Westside Strangler’ Brennan is a fighter that’s been around the sport a long time. One of the first fighters to discard of the gi and focus on no-gi grappling, Chris has a distinguished career in promotions such as the UFC, Pride and Cage Rage.
Lance Edwards: Chris, I believe you’ll be fighting again soon?
Chris Brennan: Hopefully, I did have a fight but it fell through, so I don’t have one right now; in fact I’ve had three fights fall through, one in Sweden, one in Holland and one in Canada. I’ve always had a hard time keeping fights in smaller promotions; I didn’t have a problem in Pride and the UFC.
A lot of guys don’t want to fight me on a smaller show, which I don’t really understand, if they win it’s great for their career, but if they lose it’s not bad, as it’s beneficial to have fought a good level of competition. I really want to get back to the UFC, and to do that I need wins.
LE: Will you still be fighting at 155lbs?
CB: Actually, no, I’ll be fighting back at 170lbs. My brother, who’s my manager, and I looked at my record and it was far better at 170lbs. I always walked round big for 155, and it’s hard for me to hover around that weight, as I may need to take fights on short notice it takes a lot of effort.
LE: We haven’t seen you fight for a while, did you stop?
CB: I haven’t fought for nineteen months due to injury. I suffered a rib injury back in 2005 in my grappling match with Marcello Garcia, in my last fight I aggravated it. I’ve been doing other things, such as strength and conditioning training for motocross riders.
I actually haven’t felt this rejuvenated in my training for years now, I have the fire back like when I started in the sport. I fought a few times injured to make a dollar, and that really wasn’t the smartest thing, so I took the time out to heal.
LE: You mentioned , I believed you worked together with Kimo Leopoldo before he got in the UFC?
CB: that’s right, we were working at a bar as bouncers with Todd Medina as well. We saw the first UFC, and at the time we were in hundreds of street fights, we suddenly realized we could fight, get paid for it and not get arrested. Kimo had zero training at the time but was very athletic.
One thing people don’t know is there was a guy called Randy Ziegler who Kimo paid to go and take privates from Rickson, and Randy would then come back and teach Kimo what he learnt. At the UFC there was almost a huge fight in the lobby when Rickson saw Randy with Kimo and realized what had been happening.
Kimo did things in that fight he shouldn’t have known how to do at that time, and that’s because of that.
LE: Rumor has it that you will be preparing for your next fight with Renzo Gracie.
CB: How did you find that out? That’s right, the plan is when I get a fight I’ll go and train with Renzo. Renzo and I go way back to Brazil, when he reffed my first MMA fight there, and we’ve been good friends since. When I signed up on twitter, he tweeted me ‘I heart your ten finger guillotine DVD’.
That was great and really meant a lot to me, Renzo saying that. He’s my favorite Gracie as far as fighting goes, he’s fought anyone, anytime, across weight classes as well; I really respect him.
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