Inching Closer to the Spotlight, Brent Knopp Hopes to Impress at SFL America

After starting off his career undefeated in his first eight bouts, middleweight veteran Brent “Mankill” Knopp suffered his first defeat at the hands of Jared Torgeson at Super Fight League 46 in February.

In looking back over the loss, Knopp sees what he did wrong and how he let the fight get away from him.

“I’m a finisher and this is the first time as a pro that I didn’t finish,” Knopp told MMAWeekly.com. “You can never let a fight go to the judges. I didn’t do the small things, the small techniques, right, to knock him out when I could have, and I should have.

“I had (Torgeson) one time on the ground, and I could have ground and pounded him out, but I let him get up. I missed that opportunity. In the third round I caught him with a good right at the end and just ran out of time. I just didn’t pull the trigger soon enough and I take all the fault.”

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Since the loss, Knopp has retooled his game and added a new dimension he felt was lacking with the help of former kickboxing champion Curtis Schuster.

“I tremendously got back to what I need to do,” said Knopp. “The small techniques to make my strikes more efficient, so when get the right angles and the right shots, I can finish the fight right there. I’ve developed a really good kicking game, which I never had, so I’m evolving as a fighter.

“I was usually a hand striker, a power striker, but now I’ve got the up and down with kicks and knees, back and forth. I could throw head kicks decently, but now I’ve got an arsenal of head kicks from different angles. It’s huge to have that game.”

Knopp (8-1, 1NC) will look to rebound against Adam Dehart (6-5) in the main event of Super Fight League America’s Seattle versus Los Angeles team battle on July 23 at in Tacoma, Wash.

“It looks like he’s a catch wrestler, so he’s going to try to take me down and look for a submission,” Knopp said of Dehart. “I just have to be sound, composed, and make him miss takedowns and make him pay.

“It’s a five-round fight, so as he misses takedowns, he’ll be getting more tired and will be forced to stand, and that’s what I want – a stand-up fight – and my technique should win.”

Having made a name for himself in the Northwest over the past several years, Knopp’s next goal is to make it on the national stage, and to get there he’s got to show the people who work with him that he’s ready to make that move.

“I’ve got a tough coach in Matt Hume that I have to impress,” said Knopp. “I’ve got to be a dynamic finisher. Curtis wants to see some brutal knockouts with technique and composure, and not just brute force.

“I just have to impress them, and once I’m a finished product they like, they can do something with me. If not, I’ll just go back to the drawing board and become a better martial artist until I get to that level.”

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