Brett Cooper is coming for you if you are a professional MMA fighter in the 185 pound division of an upper echelon Mixed Martial Arts organization and there is very little you can do about it besides talk to promoters and agents to either fight him or not fight him. Just let it be known that he is coming, and he will fill all of the proper paperwork to do so. Tonight at Bellator 44, Brett Cooper takes on Bellator season 3 middleweight tournament winner Alexander ‘Storm’ Shlemenko in a match that has rawesome written all over it. We caught up with Brett and chatted with him for a few minutes about his impressive training pedigree, his impending marriage and his impressively carefree locks.
You’re a really nice guy, very laid back. Why a sport like MMA? It seems like the truest form of competition. You have two people in there and it basically almost til one gives up or can’t continue. I’ve always loved competition and martial arts, it fits me.
Have you lived in California your whole life? Yep, Long Beach my whole life.
How did you get hooked up with Reign and Kings MMA. As soon as I could drive when I got my car at 17 the first thing I did was drive with Tracy Hess who ended up joining gyms with Antonio McKee. Then through training and meeting people I met Mark and I went and trained with Kings with Raphael and he trained with Mark then from there I just settled with Reign and Kings.
Can you confirm that Mark Munoz is the nicest guy in MMA? I haven’t met everyone but it would be hard for anyone to be nicer than him
From what I heard you just proposed, looking back do you wish you did it in the cage like your Bellator cohort Bryan Baker?
Nah, I think I did it the right way. It suited my personality and my fiancees personality pretty well. It was on her birthday. I killed two birds with one stone on that one. That was back in October, she came home, she’s a bartender and she came home late, probably two thirty or three and I waited til she got home and I was like ‘hey how ya doin’. Then I went on my knee and she was like: (makes really high voice and I imagine he put his jazz hands in the air) ‘Yes! Yes! Yes!’ (laughs) it was somewhat traditional but no one was there but us. She was happy. She was happy I didn’t do it in front of a bunch of people.
In your opinion do you have the best hair in MMA? The best hair…maybe! (someone says something inaudible in the background and Brett replies to them off phone) Who has better hair than me!?
You might be up there with Ben Henderson or Urijah. Maybe you’re a dark horse? Maybe if I really tried. I don’t even try to do anything to be honest with you, I don’t think I have combed my hair in a couple months. I never comb my hair that’s the secret.
Such little effort is impressive. Yeah I don’t try I don’t really care, I just maybe put some gel in there when I want to look nice and pull my fingers through it and let it fly.
You have a really thick beard. Were you able to buy alcohol for your friends in highschool? See the thing is, they would get it all the time without me needing to. I didn’t really need to, I think that there were a few times if I had to I could have but I didn’t really try too much to be honest.
Are you going to be in the next Bellator middleweight tournament? Um, not sure. First thing’s first and I gotta deal with Shlemenko and then see what happens.
Considering Shlemenko won the last tournament this would be a pretty nice feather in your cap. What do you have to do to stifle his striking? Well, I need to either be in his face or far away. He likes doing the spinny things so I need to close the distance or get away from his attacks.
What is the best piece of knowledge one of the vets from Reign or Kings has given you?
Well, Mark Munoz gives me a lot of great advice on like, technical wrestling
and stuff he’s a good guy and a good friend…You know I don’t think I can remember one specific piece of advice all of those guys are so great to me.
So you’ve mentioned in the past that you’ve trained with Tito Ortiz a bit, do you think it’s a little ridiculous everyone keeps calling him out all the time? Well, look at it like this, everyone knows Tito. He has been on Celebrity Apprentice, his racing, he was the poster boy for the UFC for awhile. So pretty much everyone is trying to make a name off him. From his point of view it may suck but he’s in the press even when he’s away so, you know, any press is good press. It seems like he likes the attention, I don’t know him too well I have just sparred or trained with him a few times, but I think he likes it. Look at his wife.
Anyone to thank? InknBurn.com
I have this crazy awesome poster, they made me some personal custom shirts and shirts and I’m definitely winning the shorts contest Saturday night, I want to just thank everyone my family, my fiancee. Oh and I’m coming to get everyone (laughs) it’s over. Um, everyone who is in my weight class, everyone worth fighting in my weight class, I’m coming for you, it’s over! (then I think he growled)