Grudge Head Coach Trevor Wittman On UFC Newcomer Brandon Thatch: “This Kid Is So Talented”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Grudge Training Center’s Trevor Wittman has played a key role in developing many notable fighters and MMA stars, and while mainstream fans may not be familiar with the name Brandon Thatch, the renowned coach is confident they will be soon.
Wittman is well known for the work he’s done with fighters like Rashad Evans, Shane Carwin, Nate Marquardt and Brendan Schaub, among many others. While appearing on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio, however, Wittman was asked to share some names of fighters who he believes are headed in the same direction as the men above.
“There is a couple guys who are right on the verge of breaking out and everyone’s going to know their name, and one is Brandon Thatch,” Wittman said about the 27 year-old fighter, who currently holds a record of 9-1. “He is so talented and he just got signed to the UFC. Just been waiting for a while, Dana (White) made a comment a while back at a press conference, when they asked who’s the best fighter outside the UFC, and Dana said Brandon Thatch.”
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre is another high profile figure who has heaped praise on Thatch. After watching Thatch fighter last year, the pound-for-pound contender brought Thatch to Montreal to help him prepare for his fights with Carlos Condit and most recently Nick Diaz. GSP reportedly said before Thatch signed with the UFC that he believed the Colorado fighter could be competing in the organization.
“He’s a guy to watch out for at 170 pounds,” Wittman furthered about Thatch, who has won eight straight fights now while competing for organizations like Ring of Fire, Instinct MMA and Resurrection Fighting Alliance. “He’s gone up and helped Georges St. Pierre in his last two training camps, and Georges thinks highly of him; this kid is so talented.”
Thatch has been training in martial arts for much of his life, as his father Clarence Thatch is a seven time Sabaki champion and former ISKA World Cruiserweight Kickboxing Champion. Thatch had his first fight when he was just 17, and since then he’s gone on to record nine pro MMA wins, all of which have come via submission or stoppage.
Most recently, Thatch submitted Mike Rhodes with a first round, rear-naked-choke at RFA 7, and prior to that, he tapped out Canadian vet Martin Grandmont with the same technique at an Instinct MMA event last June.
“That guy is so mentally strong,” added Wittman, who also mentioned Justin Gaethje and Justin Salas as other Grudge fighters that are on the rise . “His father is Clarence Thatch, who is a former Sabaki champion, so Brandon has grown up in the fight world, and when you grow up in a gym everything is just easier on the mental page. It’s like nature to him.”
The UFC hasn’t made an official announcement about signing Thatch and no details have emerged yet, as to when and who the welterweight will face in his Octagon debut.
Stay tuned to Full Contact Fighter for more UFC news as it develops.