Exclusive: Bryson Hansen Talks WSOF Debut, Hawaiian Pride and Much More

Image courtesy of Sherdog.com
Image courtesy of Sherdog.com

If you’ve heard of Brenson Hansen, chances are you’ve also heard of his brother Bryson, and vice-versa. Bryson, the elder of the Hawaiian beat-down bros, is set to make his promotional debut and fight along side his kaikua`ana (brother) this Saturday at WSOF 9: Carl vs Palhares. Bryson takes on Sean Cantor in what he assures fans will be another great bout on this already stacked card.

ProMMANow got a chance to speak with Bryson to get this devoted prospect’s take on the fight, debuting with a bang and much more.

Questions from ProMMA’s Kinch in bold.

Answers from Bryson are italicized.

How has your camp been thus far as you get ready to make your WSOF debut against Sean Cantor this Saturday?

“Great actually, I haven’t felt this good in a while. Everything has been going as planned and I couldn’t have asked for a better camp. I’ve got great training partners and my coaches all came together for this camp, I’ll be as ready as I’ll ever be on fight night.”

I couldn’t find much on your opponent, but he’s 1 and 0 as a professional and fights out of the Wand Fight Team. What can you tell me about Sean Cantor?

“From the videos I’ve seen of him, he looks tough. It seems like he’s going to come forward, and I’m going to come forward, so this should make for a great fight. I think he’s from Hawaii too so I think it’s that Hawaiian heart that naturally drives us to be exciting.”

Do you think it’s more dangerous to take on a no-name guy like this? Or do you prefer to not even consider that while preparing for a fight?

“I definitely don’t consider it, a fight’s a fight. You don’t go in there thinking a guy isn’t going to try and kick your head off while you try to take his head off. It’s going to be a war no matter who the match-up is.”

This fight will mark your promotional debut with WSOF and your brother made his debut in impressive fashion at WSOF 2. How important is it for you to have a similar showing on March 29th?

“It’s kind of hard act to follow up, not many guys are going to be able to do that in their debut so I’m just going to take my time and if it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t present itself then it’s not my time to make a stunning appearance like that, but hopefully it does.”

As I mentioned to your brother, many great fighters hail from the island nation of Hawaii, like Penn, Browne, and your training partner Brad Tavares. Give me your background as a martial artist and tell me who inspired you coming up?

“Actually our coach back home, Brandon Wolf. We got into a little trouble and whatnot, then Brandon showed us the right way to do things, like being in the gym and being disciplined. He showed us that there’s different ways to go about fighting and he actually fought two times in the UFC, so we’ve always looked up to him. He was a great mentor.

That seems to be the most common scenario among Hawaiian fighters, they started fighting in the street, got into trouble and found martial arts. Why do you think that is such a recurring narrative?

“That is a good question (laughs). I think in Hawaii, it’s got a lot to do with pride, it’s that never give up or back down kind of thing. That’s were it goes back to, everyone is butting heads, but those are all lessons you learn as a young kid. You wouldn’t be the person you are today if you didn’t do the things you did as a kid.”

You’ve spent a lot of time on the Hawaiian MMA circuit until now, was that by choice or just a lack of opportunities elsewhere?

“I’d say by choice, I was living in Hawaii until two years ago and I kind of wanted to build my record and try to make a name for myself, then slowly work my way up. Take my time like the tortoise and the hare, I’ll be the tortoise that ends up winning. But now I’m very excited about this opportunity and I can’t thank World Series of Fighting enough for giving me a shot.”

Both Brenson and yourself train at Xtreme Couture under the tutelage of the legendary Ray Sefo. Not only is Ray your coach and mentor, but now he’s your boss. Tell me about your relationship with Ray and how things have transitioned from coach to employer?

“As far as coaching goes, I couldn’t have asked for anyone better to help me expand my game. Even though he’s a K-1 champion, he doesn’t only look at that aspect of fighting. We’re supposed to be well-rounded and he molds us to be mixed martial artists. As far as him being our boss too, he’s no different. No matter what he’s our coach first.”

I’m curious as to how something like this works out, like did Ray offer you a fight during a mitt session one day?

“It’s been leading up to it, he just wanted me to get a couple fights before I went over to WSOF. He wanted me to do well before I make my debut in this organization, so it’s always been the goal. I’ve been training for a long time and it’s finally come to head, March 29th will be that day.”

As I asked your brother, how do like training with Brenson on a daily basis and would you say it’s more beneficial? Also, who won the fights when you guys were kids?

“I’m sure he said that I used to beat him up on a weekly basis, I think that’s what he would say. Now that I look back on it I feel bad, but like we said before, these things mold you into who you are. It’s great working with him, it’s almost like we’re twins because we see everything exactly the same. It gets a little weird at times, but I couldn’t ask for a better training partner.”

Back to your opponent Cantor. Where do you think he’s going to be most dangerous and what do you think you can exploit against him?

“He actually looks really well-rounded from what I’ve seen. Standing up, he comes forward and his jiujitsu looks pretty good, I don’t know much about his wrestling tough. He’s a well-rounded mixed martial artist and that’s what I’m expecting out of everyone nowadays. As far as holes in his game goes, I guess we’ll find out on fight night.”

How do you envision this fight transpiring and how do you get your hand raised?

“I’m expecting this to be a war, even though he doesn’t have many fights, he’s fought on the amateur circuit a lot and he has experience. Every fight I go into I’m expecting a war and I don’t expect anything less from him.”

Why should fans tune in on March 29th?

“I’m expecting a war in my fight and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the rest of the card. The main event is great, the co-main is great and you get to see top talent from all over the world!”

Follow Bryson on Twitter: @BrysonHansen

Be sure to catch the WSOF 9 prelims at WSOF.com and tune in for the main card at 9pm ET/6pm PT this Saturday only on NBC Sports!

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