Dallas, Texas – The year 2000. What a time to be alive. I was an awkward, gangly fifteen-year-old Freshman in High School. Brittney Spears had not gone completely bananas, Limp Bizkit was still cool, it was normal to look up telephone numbers in the phonebook, and if Y2K did not completely wipe out all of mankind, I was definitely going to ask the girl from my chemistry class to the homecoming dance.
From a mixed martial arts standpoint, however, we were still very much in the dark ages. On June 9, 2000, UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams took place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The most interesting tidbit about that event? A fighter was disqualified for kicking his opponent multiple times which is normally fine unless, of course, you happen to be wearing shoes which was definitely the case here.
In the aftermath of UFC 26, the world of MMA has advanced by lightyears. So have the martial artists themselves. The fighters of today are more technical and more sophisticated than they ever have been. We are in a new era of MMA, led by the fighters of Generation Z, fighters like Lucas Brennan who was born three days before UFC 26 occurred, that will ultimately take the sport of MMA to an even higher level than ever before.
Lucas Brennan is part of the next generation of fighters with an actual MMA pedigree. Old-school MMA heads may recall his father, Chris Brennan, 21-14-1, a veteran of the sport with stints in Pride FC, UFC, and King of the Cage to name a few.
Apart from the bloodline, athleticism, and world-class talent, what you’ll find when you talk to Lucas Brennan is a polite, humble, and well-spoken 22-year-old. Yes! They exist. For the record, I’m not sure if I’ve ever been called “sir” so many times by the fighter I’m interviewing, but Lucas is a different breed. Despite the past successes, accolades, and praise from media and fans alike, there is a sense of humility and honesty about him that I rarely encounter in the world of MMA.
Featherweight Young Gun Lucas “Skywalker” Brennan ahead of Bellator 288
Will Lucas Brennan secure his 6️⃣th first-round stoppage?
👊 #Bellator288 | 🗓 Friday, November 18th | 🏟 The @WintrustArena pic.twitter.com/P1HbZm9EEA
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) November 12, 2022
Since joining Bellator MMA in 2019, Lucas Brennan, 7-0, has made it look easy. Maybe too easy. Of his seven total fights, only one has managed to go the distance, as “Skywalker” has found a way to get stoppages in the rest of the bouts. But for Brennan, what we are witnessing is just a mere sampling of his skill set to date.
Telling MMA Sucka, “There are certainly aspects of my game that have been developed and are in the process of being grown that I think haven’t been touched on quite yet, I have some systems of my own that I’ve never been in the position to perform in my fights but honestly, I like it that way. They’ll make their showing when they need to but there are big pieces of my game that haven’t been demonstrated, and I think leaving my skills in those areas to my opponent’s imagination as opposed to forcing them into a fight is only going to bring me more success.”
Having recently entered the official Bellator Featherweight rankings as the number ten ranked contender, and in a division consisting of Jeremy Kennedy, Aaron Pico, Justin Gonzales, and Pedro Carvalho to name a few, Brennan knows that the trek to the top of the division will only get more difficult in the coming years and while he welcomes the jump up in competition, for now, the focus is on his own development and patience.
“I’m considerably more focused on developing as a fighter” Brennan explained, “Despite the climb in my ranking I’m still young and would rather be pushed back in ranking and develop more than rush ahead. I have full faith in my style and in my abilities but there’s no harm in waiting for the right moment.”
Sizing Up the Competition
Rather than worry about looking up at the nine names ahead of him in the pecking order, Brennan’s focus is on the man whom he’ll be seeking to earn his 8th professional career victory off of in Nick Talavera, 5-1. In sizing up his opponent, Brennan was quick to offer praise, “I know that Talavera is a good grappler, he has respectable wrestling and is clearly a jiu-jitsu oriented guy” in predicting how believes the fight will play out “Skywalker” said, “I think this is gonna be a grapple fest and will be a ton of fun. He’s another new body and a new style for me to experiment with and I’m very confident and excited about what he has to bring to the table.”
On Glory MMA
To help prepare for his upcoming fight against Talavera at Bellator 288, Brennan spent part of his camp at one of the most reputable MMA gyms in the country, Glory MMA. “The work at Glory [MMA] has been nothing short of fantastic. The room is full of killers and it’s impossible to deny the success the room has had… I couldn’t be more grateful. [I had] Lots of work with Darrick Minner, David Onama, Miles Johns, James Gallagher, James Krause, everyone has been a major help.”
The Path Forward
Beyond the Talavera fight, Brennan already has goals and objectives in mind for next year, “[In] 2023, I plan to get 2-3 fights in hopefully a similar to schedule to this year, I have a potential date next year in mind already, but I’ll be saving it for after this next fight. I’m excited for another year of fights and really just wanna continue stepping up and evolving as a fighter.”
It’s hard to believe that Brennan who was still in high school only a few short years ago, has already begun to capture the imaginations of MMA fans all over the world. At only 22 years old, and nowhere near his athletic prime, he’s managed to dominate all the competition he’s faced to date. With each passing fight, he has demonstrated levels of technicality and prowess that are unheard of for a fighter with less than ten pro bouts. While we can only wait and see what the future holds for Brennan, one thing is for certain with each passing day he’s only going to continue to evolve and improve and the rest of the Bellator Featherweight Division would be wise to take him seriously.
Lucas “Skywalker” Brennan, 7-0, takes on Nick Talavera, 5-1 at Bellator 288: Nemkov vs. Anderson 2 on November 18, 2022. The preliminary bouts begin at 6 PM ET and are available to stream live worldwide via YouTube. In the U.S., the Main Card action will air on ShowTime.