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Lucas Brennan was born in the year 2000, yet somehow he’s already made it to Bellator

Lucas Brennan, the son of UFC veteran Chris Brennan, hated jiu-jitsu when he started training at the age of 12. But he eventually came around to it and took it one step further.

Bellator MMA

Lucas Brennan has already reached a position in his career that few do — and he’s not even old enough to legally buy alcohol in the U.S.

Brennan, 19, signed a five-fight deal with Bellator, one of the biggest MMA promotions in the world, after winning his pro debut on one of its undercards as a local fighter this past summer.

“It’s pretty awesome, not gonna lie,” Brennan told Bloody Elbow ahead of his second Bellator fight at Bellator 233 on Friday night.

Brennan, the son of former UFC fighter Chris Brennan, was first introduced to combat sports at the age of 12. His dad wanted him and his younger brother to take up jiu-jitsu when they started middle school so they could fight off bullies. Brennan hated it at first.

“I was the exact opposite of what an athletic, young kid is,” Brennan said. “I was super into my video games. And if I’m going to be honest, at the time I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. It was really just me and my brother. I just spent every day at home playing video games all day long. I didn’t really do a whole lot of sports.”

It took Brennan a while to get accustomed to jiu-jitsu. And he was alone on that — his brother was a natural athlete. But as the days went on, the more time Brennan spent on the mats, the more he began to enjoy it.

“Eventually, my brother did a tournament that I didn’t want to do, and he killed a kid like 30-0,” Brennan said. “And I was like, ‘You know what? Maybe I want to do it.’”

A few years later, when Brennan was either a freshman or sophomore in high school, he and his brother competed in a couple youth pankration fights in California. They’re not as serious as real MMA fights, and they’re designed for kids or teenagers who want to compete in MMA one day. Competitors wear heard gear, shin pads, and other protective gear during these bouts.

Brennan wrestled in high school, and did a bit of boxing training, but this was the first time he was putting all of those skills together. And after it was all said and done, he loved the experience. This is when he knew he wanted to take a stab at being a pro fighter.

Meanwhile, had Brennan’s dad succeeded? Is this what he wanted all along, for his son to follow in his footsteps and become a pro fighter?

“He says he left it up to me,” Brennan laughed, “but I’m sure he wanted me to. But he never forced it upon me. He left that decision up to me, and was totally cool if I didn’t.”

Brennan’s mom, however, took a little more convincing.

“She supports it, because I want to do this, and she just kind of lets me do it,” Brennan said. “I think if I decided to do something else, she wouldn’t be upset. She’s never actively tried to get me to do this for sure.

“In Texas, to fight at 17, your parents have to sign the contract and notarize it. She cried on the notary and the contract. She’s come around now, but it took her a minute to realize I wasn’t just going to do it the one time and forget about it.”

But it’s not just his mom who isn’t 100 percent on board with the idea of Brennan stepping into a cage and fighting another man for money.

“Her whole side of the family, none of them fight,” Brennan said. “My grandma went to the first one for some reason, and she was like, ‘OK, so that’s the only one you’re gonna do, right?’ And I was like, ‘No, I got one in like six months.’ She’s like, ‘Why?’ I’m like, ‘Because I enjoy it.’”

If you were wondering, Brennan, who made his amateur MMA debut when he was 17, never walked through the halls of his high school bragging that he was a fighter. But if you asked, he’d tell you. And sometimes, he’d have to explain what that actually meant.

“Anytime I tell someone I train, they either watch it and they know what I’m talking about, or they’re like, ‘Oh, you do UFC?’” Brennan said. “I look at them and say, ‘Do you do NFL?’ They’re like, ‘What?’ And I’m like, ‘Exactly. It makes no sense.’

“One of my professors last semester, they do the whole icebreaker for class, like, ‘Tell me your name and something interesting about you.’ I’m like, ‘My name is Lucas, I fight professionally.’ And she goes, ‘Do your friends call you Karate Kid?’ I’m like, ‘I already don’t like you.’”

Brennan, who graduated high school last year, attended his first year of college this past school year at the University of North Texas. It’s a good school and not too far away from he lives, so it worked out in that regard, Brennan said. But balancing his schoolwork and training — and not getting enough sleep in between — was too difficult.

After he signed with Bellator, Brennan decided to put all his eggs in one basket for now and focus on his budding MMA career.

“You don’t always get the opportunity to be on a contract with Bellator,” Brennan said. “I can go back to school at anytime. But I can never go back to being 19 in Bellator. I want to take advantage of this while I have it. And for whatever reason if things don’t work out, I passed all my classes, I can go back as a sophomore.”

The priorities of most 19-year-old boys go something like this: party, get all the girls, and just barely pass in school. Something like that, anyway. But Brennan, he has one priority, and that’s fighting. That’s what his life revolves around.

“A lot of my social life is also at the gym,” Brennan said. “That’s how I find myself bored a lot of the time, honestly. I’m like, ‘Well, I don’t really have anything to do,’ so I just lay around until training, then train, and that’s it. When I’m injured and I can’t train, I have no idea what to do with myself. I’m like tripping out. I’m like, ‘Dude, what do people do? What do people do when they’re not at the gym?’ I balance the two pretty easily, because I haven’t dove in head first to any sort of big social life. I don’t really go to any dances, I don’t go to any parties. The vast majority of my time is spent at the gym.”

The “why don’t you ever party” cool kids might make fun of Brennan for his life choices, but he’s just doing what he wants to be doing. Oh, and remember, he’s in Bellator — at the age of 19 — and you’re not.

“Right now, everything is looking pretty good,” Brennan said. “I try not to blow my ego up a whole lot. I stay pretty humble about it. I know where I am and everything. I know I’m not blowing up at the moment. But I’m also well aware that this is pretty nice. I’m in a pretty nice position at my age to be here, and I’m grateful for that. I’m stoked.”