By: Nick Portella
What’s good fight fan? Today I had the chance to sit down with amateur MMA fighter Brandt “The Beast” Cooper. Brandt will be stepping into the cage once again on May 20 at Fight Night Live 2. Let’s have a seat with him and get to know him.
Nick: When did you begin to train martial arts?
Brandt: I started in 2013. I had no previous martial arts experience. I went to watch my friend and now training partner Mike “Diesel” Duckett fight. After the fight, we all went out to have some drinks. While we were there he dared me to show up to the gym on Monday morning and start training. He didn’t think that I would so Monday morning came and I was there ready to go. Here I am today continuing to train and looking for my shot in the pros.
Nick: What disciplines do you train and what belts do you have in them?
Brandt: I train in mixed martial arts. I have been out to Arizona to train muay thai but other than that nothing in particular. I like to stand up coming from a kickboxing background. I train to be effective no matter where the fight may go. While I am waiting for MMA fights I still take kickboxing matches to stay sharp.
Nick: Your nickname is the beast. Who gave it to you and why?
Brandt: When I first started I was at Marty’s Martial Arts. I was a heavier guy at the time and really out of shape. My first fight was a guy that was pretty ripped, but I came out in beast mode and destroyed him. After that fight people, I knew started calling me the beast and it stuck.
Nick: What camp do you train out of and how long have you been with them?
Brandt: I train out of MMAG (Midwest Martial Arts group). I get to train with some talented fighters such as Mike Duckett and Shawn West which has definitely upped my game.
Nick: Do you hold any amateur titles?
Brandt: I am the current QCFC middleweight champion.
Nick: I have read that you have fought across several weight classes. Can you elaborate on which ones and why?
Brandt: My first fight was booked at light heavyweight. I was walking around at 217 and cut down to 205 for the fight. My opponent never showed up, but I never put the weight back on. I then made the cut to 185 and had a few fights. Next thing you know I am walking around at 170 pounds and cutting down to 155.
Nick: With cutting weight and fighter safety always being a concern, how much weight do you usually cut before a fight? What methods do you use?
Brandt: I cut roughly 15 pounds when fight camp starts. I eat clean and get down to about 165 with just diet. I cut the rest fight week. I try to be at 165 at most fight week and cut 5 pounds the day of weigh-ins.
Nick: What do you think your best attribute is inside the cage?
Brandt: I would have to say my counterstrike. I like to wait for my opponent to move and then react. It works pretty well for me standing up. Most guys don’t want to stand and throw with me. My first time at 155 my opponent stood up with me and he got dropped in the second round. I jumped on him to put on some ground and pound and was able to sink in the rear-naked choke for the win.
Nick: When you do go to the pros do you have a promotion in mind?
Brandt: I would like to stay with Caged Aggression to start.
Nick: May 20 you will be making your thirteenth amateur appearance at Fight Night Live 2 at McElroy Auditorium courtesy of Punga Entertainment. When do you plan to make the jump to the professional level?
Brandt: My goal is to win the amateur lightweight title for Caged Aggression, but I don’t want to fight amateur forever.
Nick: You will be facing Michael Fish inside the cage on May 20. Do you have a prediction for your fight?
Brandt: I really do not. I will go in there and do my thing. I am always looking for the finish. Most of my wins are via TKO and got my first submission finish via rear naked choke
Nick: Since you are at the end of your amateur career and ready to go pro soon, what one piece of advice could you give to a new fighter starting out?
Brandt: Stick to it and don’t get discouraged. It’s easy to get discouraged and have a hard time believing yourself. There are levels to this game. Sometimes you get caught training or get beat on the ground. Keep believing in yourself and stick with it. It’s 90% mental.
Nick: Brandt have you submitted to the takeover?
Brandt: This is Brandt “The Beast” Cooper and I have submitted to the takeover.
Well, another great interview with another great prospect. Brandt was a blast to talk to. I am hoping to see him enter his pro career with a bang and wish him all the best. Signing off for TheMMATakeOver.com this is Nick Portella. @NickPortellaMMA