“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
– Carl Bard
What the MMA world thinks of Charles Bennett, formerly known as Krazy Horse, is not what the former Pride and EliteXC veteran wants you to think about him when he finally calls it a career. Bennett hopes to prove that with a new training camp under the tutelage of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans.
While Bennett won’t play the victim of his own circumstance or ask for pity for any of the things he’s done in his past, he hopes that fans and promoters alike are willing to get him a second chance to see what he’s made of with a different mindset than he’s ever had before.
Meeting Evans was a matter of chance, but having the former “Ultimate Fighter” winner put faith in him, while taking him under his wing, has meant the world to Bennett as he looks to turn his life and career around.
“My (expletive) David Eddy seen Rashad in the club on Rashad’s birthday, as a matter of fact, and David Eddy’s been working with me periodically on the regular working with me on my personal life and my fighting career. So he seen Rashad at the party on his birthday and told him about what had just happened with me and Drew Fickett at Shine Fights,” Bennett told MMAWeekly.com in an exclusive interview.
Bennett lost to Fickett in the first round of the Shine Fights Lightweight Grand Prix. He was scheduled to return as early as next week in Israel before a passport issue forced him off the card. Calling up Evans was the first step to where Bennett is now, training and living in Denver, working with fighters like Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren.
“We talked for about an hour, and I won’t say I had to build up trust in him because as soon as I started talking to him, Rashad took his hat off to me and he started putting one hand in front of the other and he was trying to help me out,” Bennett explained.
“Despite my colorful past and what I did in the background, every man deserves a chance. That’s what Rashad is giving me right now.”
Evans brought Bennett out to Denver where he continues to work and train. Bennett then signed on with Ali Abdel-Aziz, head of Dominance MMA, who manages and works with several top fighters including Renzo Gracie and Ricardo Almeida.
Bennett says having this new-found support makes all the difference in the world, and he hopes to pay them all back by showing off a new version of himself when he returns in the cage.
“I have a strong support team now starting off with Rashad Evans and David Eddy and Ali Abdel-Aziz. It means a lot. It means that now I have this opportunity once again that’s in front of me to go out and show with the proper training, my proper skills,” said Bennett. “It’s a great feeling.”
His new manager working with Renzo Gracie also means that Bennett has an open invite to come to New York and train in Gracie’s Manhattan based school along with some of the best in the world, including UFC champions Georges St-Pierre and Frankie Edgar. It’s that commitment that Abdel-Aziz hopes to show Bennett, and help him turn things around.
“A lot of people took advantage of Charles at the beginning of his career, and they didn’t treat him well, but right now with the right people and the right management, he’s going to be a complete MMA fighter. Now it is time to shine,” said Abdel-Aziz.
One of the first big moves for Bennett will be the drop to 145 pounds. He plans on fighting exclusively at featherweight starting with his upcoming fights. After putting together a few wins, Bennett is hopeful that he’ll get the chance to prove his worth to a promotion like the UFC or Strikeforce.
“I think I’m one of the most entertaining fighters out there and with me training I don’t think I can be touched,” said Bennett. “We’re just going to see.”