One of the early matches of the UFC card at Fort Hood, Charlie Brenneman and Amilcar Alves will meet in a welterweight bout. While not receiving much attention, both fighters are talented fighters at a cross roads in their careers. Both have the potential to become relevant fighters, if not quite title contenders, in the UFC, but the talent is so deep at Welterweight that it has become a now or never fight for these two competitors.
Brenneman is 29 years old and comes from a wrestling background. He earned All-American honors at Lock Haven University while earning his teaching certificate. Brenneman taught Spanish at his home town high school and actually won the original season of Pros vs Joes.
Brenneman's competitive nature lead him to amateur MMA, where he quickly amassed a 5-0 record. He turned pro and went 10-1 across various east coast promotions. Brenneman is known for his high energy, fast movement when striking, explosive takedowns and strong ground and pound.
Brenneman was originally brought in to the UFC to face Jason High on the undercard of UFC Fight Night Florian vs Gomi. At the time High was a highly touted prospect, and Brenneman beat him convincingly. Brenneman was then faced with another highly ranked wreslter turned MMA prospect, Johny Hendricks.
Hendricks proved the better striker, notching a TKO victory in the second round. Now Brenneman is in the unenviable position of being a mid-level prospect in a deep division fighting for his Zuffa roster spot.
Facing Brenneman is the 31 year old Brazilian Amilcar Alves. He is a judo black belt and currently training with Jose Aldo at Nova Uniao. Alves has been training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for several years, as well as Muay Thai and has pro Muay Thai experience.
Alves had an impressive run in local Brazilian shows and got the call from the UFC for Penn vs Edgar 2 in August of 2010. Alves was given the tough task of taking on another top welterweight prospect Mike Pierce. Pierce's wrestling and top position grind proved too much for Alves, and he was forced to tap out to a straight armbar in the third round.
For both fighters it is chance to prove they have patched the holes in their game and moved forward as fighters. For Brenneman, he is faced with a superior striker and able grappler and must avoid getting caught up in the striking game and use his wrestling to win.
For Alves, he is again faced with a strong wrestler with strop top position and must prove he has adjusted his training to deal with it.
I expect Brenneman's wrestling to be the difference in the match, but Alves' striking and submission game make him a threat to earn a stoppage. While we've never seen Brenneman's submission defense tested, he should get his hand raised after a grinding decision or late round TKO.
It is almost certain the loser of this match will be given his release from the UFC. Brenneman seems to have more upside as prospect and even if he should lose this match, the UFC would likely keep a close eye on his career and possibly bring him back after a few fights.
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