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Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman (@charliespaniard) is a UFC veteran and the author of two books. Charlie grew up wrestling in Pennsylvania where he was a two-time state runner up. He wrestled Division I for Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, where he qualified for the NCAA championships and (just like me) was one round away from being an All-American. In that last round, he lost to Johnny Hendricks of Oklahoma State, who he would later face in the UFC.

But Charlie was happy to be done with wrestling–it meant no more losing weight and high pressure matches. He became a high school Spanish teacher and committed himself to the job. He had fallen in love with the Spanish language when his family had hosted an exchange student from Mallorca years before.

Then everything changed when he was accepted to appear on Spike TVs reality show, Pros vs. Joes, where he won in his first attempt at MMA. From there, he dedicated himself fully to MMA and quit his job as a teacher and he went on a tear. In the end, he found 27 professional MMA fights.

Now Charlie is host to The Spaniard Show podcast where he talks to guests and shares the many books he reads. He is also the author of two books. His first book, Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage, tells his fascinating story of leaving his profession to become a pro fighter.

His following book, Becoming the World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner: A Book for Anyone Who Wants to Pursue Anything, traces his journey since then into the world of podcasting.

You can find his website here:

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