According to Charles Daniel Bennett II, who recently re-devoted himself to professional mixed martial arts in pursuit of the American dream, the future appears to be bright.
The second of 11 children—all to different fathers—Bennett, whose parents were both crack cocaine users, was born into a broken home in Ocala, Fla. in the winter of 1979.
After dropping out of high school, where he starred on his football squad’s defensive line, Bennett, the self-proclaimed “black sheep of his family,” focused his attention on selling narcotics.
Following the birth of his son, however, Bennett, albeit half-heartedly, devoted himself fully to mixed martial arts.
“I had a kid—a little boy—and I didn’t want to be selling dope and taking care of a kid. I knew the risk was too much and I wouldn’t be able to take it if I had to be locked up and be away from my son,” said Bennett in an exclusive interview with Ed Kapp.
“I quit selling dope and started fighting full-time, but I never took it seriously—it was just that I was good at it, so I felt that I didn’t have to train.”
Although Bennett is the first to admit that, until recently, he has never taken the sport seriously, with his exciting, fan-friendly style and, admittedly through his outlandish behaviour, he has been able to establish himself as one of the most recognizable faces in mixed martial arts.
While Bennett has long made a living off of the sport, it wasn’t until a few years ago—when he was serving a 15-month prison sentence—that he realized that, if he wanted to have a bright future in mixed martial arts, he would have to begin to take his career seriously.
“When I was in the county jail, a lot of officers and [expletive]s that were coming in and out of jail were coming in and saying, you know, ‘[Expletive], I just saw you on BET with TI and Young Dro and all these [expletive]s.’ Every time that I would turn around, officers and people that were coming in and out of jail would come up to me and be like, ‘Dude, you’re too talented for this [expletive].’”
While Bennett’s resume in the sport includes appearances in King of the Cage, Pride FC, EliteXC, ShoXC and Shine Fights—with notable victories over Yoshiro Maeda and K.J. Noons—in matches in five different countries around the world, the fact that Bennett holds 22 professional losses is an unsettling truth for the mixed martial artist formerly known as “Krazyhorse.”
“When I got 22 losses, I realized that I needed to train. These guys are training every day, all day and, in order to compete with these [expletive]s, I have to do the same thing.”
Now, in 2011, after a drop from lightweight to featherweight and four consecutive losses, it appears that that idea has finally resonated with Bennett—who is currently slated to return to action against Louis Sims in a three-round contest under the King of the Cage banner on July, 23.
While Bennett recently spent time training with Rashad Evans, “Kid Khaos” believes that the most important move he has made in pursuit of stardom in the sport has been his training at FIT/NHB in Albuquerque, N.M.—a move that Bennett regards as the best of his career.
“I’ve been training at FIT everyday for five weeks and I’ve got three more weeks to go before the fight. This is, by far, the first time that I’ve put in this much work.”
“I love Team Trauma in Florida, but FIT really has a lot of great 155-pounders to a lot of good 180-pounders—they have a lot of guys at this gym that are really good. It’s a pleasure to be here.”
Why, in 2011, has Bennett finally decided to take his career seriously?
According to Bennett, the answer is very simple; affording his children, whom he has long been working to gain custody of, a better standard of living than he had growing up.
“To do for them, better than what someone did for me feels really good. When they get my age and have kids, they’ll know that their kids are very, very important. My children are very, very important to me and I don’t know what I’d do without them.”
“I’m very family-oriented. I didn’t have a family growing up; I was always the ‘black sheep.’ I love kids; I love to see kids and parents interacting. I’ve got the utmost respect for dudes that stay involved in their kids’ lives. We—as men—are looked at to have kids and then just move the [expletive] on and not be involved in the kid’s life after we move on. I take a lot of pride in being a part of my kids’ lives and giving them a better upbringing than the one I had. That’s my No. 1 priority.”
Although Bennett has aspirations as an actor in the future, he has given himself a three-year window to achieve “legendary status” in mixed martial arts and, thereby, afford his two children a privileged upbringing.
With a goal in mind and a plan in place to pursue his ambitions, Bennett is confident looking into the future.
While it’s too early to tell what the coming years hold for Bennett, he is nevertheless confident that his future is bright—at home and in mixed martial arts.
“The future holds a lot, bro. I’ve got big plans for my family and I in the future,” said a confident Bennett, “The future is very bright.”