JACKSON – Luke Brewer sat alone in the dressing room inside the Jackson Rancheria Casino and Resort’s Grand Oak Ballroom. He had just finished his Sept. 7 fight against Osey Oiyemhonlan as part of Global Knock-Out 14, and the Angels Camp native checked his phone.
While there were a number of text messages, there was one that the 2013 Bret Harte High School graduate relished. It was from Team Alpha Male owner and coach and current UFC fighter Urijah Faber. The message was simple and straight to the point.
“I think it’s time we go pro,” Faber wrote to Brewer, who is a member of Team Alpha Male.
Brewer received the message from Faber just minutes after his dominating victory over Oiyemhonlan, where he won in the first round with a rear naked choke hold. When asked about his future, Brewer agreed with Faber’s thoughts.
“My phone in my pocket tells me that I’m ready for the next level because Urijah Faber texted me and that’s what he said,” a confident Brewer said following his fourth career mixed martial arts victory. “If you think this show is looking great now, it hasn’t even started. Just wait.”
GKO 14 was a homecoming for Brewer, and those packed inside the Grand Oak Ballroom let him know they were there for him. Brewer entered with AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blasting through the public address system, and with an American flag in his hands, Brewer appeared confident and ready. His demeanor was not a facade.
“I went in there the calmest, most composed and most confident that I’ve ever been,” Brewer said, who for the first time in his career fought at 185 pounds.
Once the cage door was locked, Brewer stood toe-to-toe with Oiyemhonlan, who entered the fight with an amateur record of 2-1. Knowing ahead of time that both of Oiyemhonlan’s wins came in the opening round, Brewer wanted to start fast and strong.
Brewer was aggressive right out of the gate and within 20 seconds, took Oiyemhonlan to the mat. Using his positioning, Brewer landed head-strikes and looked to have the momentum.
“I come out to fight and I don’t care if people think coming out fast and aggressive is a bad thing,” Brewer said. “I’m aggressive and hey, maybe that’ll get me in trouble down the road, but so far, it hasn’t. I came out and did my job.”
Oiyemhonlan eventually broke free and landed a clean punch on Brewer, which may have been exactly what Brewer needed.
“Once he hit me, that kind of composed me, and I thought, ‘OK, it looks like we are both here to fight and have a little fun,’” Brewer said.
With 1:23 to fight in the first round, Oiyemhonlan took Brewer down and landed a few more punches. After nearly a minute on the mat, Brewer got to his feet and appeared to have a smile on his face. With 30 seconds remaining in the opening round, Brewer landed two quick punches, which sent Oiyemhonlan up against the cage and down to the mat.
Seeing that Oiyemhonlan was dazed, Brewer looked to finish the job. He landed two more powerful punches and latched in a rear naked choke. With only a few seconds remaining before the end of the round, the referee called the fight and Brewer won via submission.
“As soon as I got that rear naked choke in and heard the ‘clack-clack’ which lets us know there’s only 10 seconds left, I squeezed a little harder because I knew his will was already broken,” Brewer said.
With Brewer’s hand raised in victory, the Jackson crowd yelled and applauded the beatdown they had just witnessed. Brewer shook Oiyemhonlan’s hand, and for the fourth time in his career, left the cage victorious.
“I’ve got no complaints,” Brewer said. “I’m very proud of myself. Everything was picture perfect. I told myself that I was going to be out of there in the first round. That was my goal.”
Following the fight, Brewer calmed down and returned to reality. He lives by a 20-minute rule, which is not to celebrate a victory or dwell on a loss for more than 20 minutes. Once his 20-minute celebration was over, Brewer began thinking about what his next step will be.
“Each fight is a stepping stone to continue doing what I love and to become a better person,” Brewer said. “This fight was my best fight as of now, but my next fight is going to be even better.”
And, in regards to his Calaveras fanbase, Brewer had one message: “I want to thank everyone from Calaveras County who came out and helped fuel that fire for me to put on a show and I’m glad I put on a show for them tonight.”