When bantamweight Bryson Hansen (7-1) confronts World Series of Fighting (WSOF) newcomer Matt Sayles (2-0) on Aug. 9, it’ll be his first time appearing on the WSOF televised main card. After an impressive 46 second TKO win in his promotional debut, the 28-year old hopes to deliver another showstopping performance on NBC Sports Network.
“It feels great. It’s actually something I’ve been working to get to. So, for it to finally happen, it’s more of a dream than anything else,” Hansen told MMA Fight Corner.
Ahead of Hansen at WSOF 12 lies Alliance MMA’s Sayles, who turned pro at the beginning of 2014. With two knockout wins already notched under his belt, Sayles has only spent two minutes and one second inside the cage.
Meanwhile Hansen hasn’t spent more than three minutes in the cage in his last two fights. With 5 victories earned by way of knockout and four of those occuring in the opening round of action, he’s developing a reputation as a heavy handed 135-pounder. At the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino next Saturday, he’ll look to extend his win streak to three.
At WSOF 9, the Hawaiian native demolished Sean Cantor with strikes in his first outing with WSOF. It was also his first fight on the mainland and his return from a 10 month hiatus. Prior to that, Hansen had been away from the cage for almost 2 and a half years. The swift victory wasn’t quite what he had planned.
“It felt great to get that win that fast. I definitely wasn’t ready for it. As far as getting that win, it couldn’t have went any better. I’m super happy that it went like that. But, I did want to get that ring rust off and that really didn’t help me.”
Part of the reason Bryson left the island life was to search for new and more consistent opportunites in MMA. Originally, the Honolulu-based fighter pursued MMA to stay out of trouble on the streets. His cousin Brandon Wolff, a former X-1 and UFC competitor, served as his mentor and coach and ultimately encouraged him to move to Las Vegas. Along with his younger brother Brenson and UFC middleweight Brad Tavares, they trekked to the Fight Capital to make the most of their careers.
Now training out of Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, Bryson still prepares for his fights with Brenson and Tavares. WSOF president Ray Sefo is also a mainstay in Hansen’s camps. Hansen explained that it’s not as sticky a situation as some may think to have his head trainer also be his boss.
“I don’t think it gets hard,” Hansen stated. “We’ve been a team before we were actually on the World Series of Fighting, even before we fought for World Series of Fighting, when it was just a thought for him. And to see it actually come in to fruition, it made it easy for us to transfer from him being coach to him being our boss now.”
When Bryson fought at WSOF 9, Brenson also competed on the card and wasn’t able to corner him. Hansen is delighted to have both Tavares and Brenson in his corner this time.
“It’s going to make it a lot easier for me to fight that night I think. The last time that Brenson was on the same card as me, I kind of got the jitters beforehand because he was fighting; and I think you get more worked up seeing one of your brothers fight than you actually getting in there,” Hansen admitted.
Having his brother fighting alongside of him, training with and coaching him makes Bryson’s journey much more satisfying.
“We’re a tight knit family,” Hansen said. “So for him to be in the same sport as me, or for us to be in the same sport together, it’s an easy transition. We’ve done everything together our whole lives. So to keep beating each other up as we’ve been doing since we were little kids, it makes it easy.”
WSOF 12 features a lightweight headliner, which could determine who will compete for the championship next, between Luis Palomino (22-9) and the undefeated “Lethal” Lewis Gonzalez (9-0).
Tickets for “World Series of Fighting 12: Palomino vs. Gonzalez” start at just $39 and are on sale now at AXS.com. The evening’s main card airs live on NBCSN starting at 10 p.m. ET (7 p.m. PT local time). Preliminary contests will be announced shortly and will stream live on NBCSports.com.
Check out the full interview with Bryson here: