Brett Glass needs to drop 30 pounds in a little more than a month. Or at least he normally would to meet his 155-pound welterweight class, but there’s just one problem: his right hand is broken.
It’s a bit ironic, considering the nickname his grandmother bestowed on him a year ago, and the injury keeps him from training for his next fight.
The 23-year-old Springfield native recently embarked on a professional mixed martial arts career after going undefeated (6-0) in amateur matches.
Glass won his latest fight, a three-round brawl that lasted fifteen minutes, by unanimous decision. He walked out of the cage with his first pro victory, $600, an eye swollen shut and the broken hand.
“At first they were a little nervous,” says Glass about his parents. “But they’ve been pretty supportive about helping me out and coming to fights.”
Although he’s essentially being paid to be pummeled, he admits the worst part of his job is the dieting. Forget celebrating with some sweets; his intake mainly consists of raw vegetables, brown rice and either steamed chicken or turkey.
Like Tom Hardy’s character Tommy Conlon in “Warrior,” which Glass says is a fairly accurate depiction of the MMA world, the up-and-coming fighter was a high school wrestling star, placing at state competitions for South County Secondary. He’s also worked with legendary MMA trainer Greg Jackson, who served as the technical consultant for the film.
“You train for three or four times a day, so your body’s always sore,” he says. “You don’t have time to do anything else.”
The typical day for Glass begins at 8:30 a.m. with either sparring or grappling. A couple hours later, he’s sweating it in cardio and strength training. Then, from 6:30–7 p.m., he goes to technical class to drill in new moves.
“I like keeping constant pressure on people and seeing what they do,” he says. “If they’re a striker, I’ll strike with them. If they like grappling, I’ll try to get them on the ground.”
He says he needs to win two more professional fights before he can try to earn a spot in bigger leagues like “Bellator MMA” or “The Ultimate Fighter,” the TV shows he started watching when he was in middle school. If all goes to plan, he wants to fight in Las Vegas. He says “that’s like the big show.”