Dan Cramer; Bellator Warrior
From Old School
After toiling as a loyal Bellator soldier for several years, Dan Cramer finally got the opportunity he wanted, and he made the most of it.
For nearly three years now, Dan Cramer has worked in the trenches for Bellator as their regular New England Middleweight plug. When ever the promotion came back to Cramer’s home state of Connecticut, there was a good chance that we would be watching Dan facing one of the region’s best 185ers. Over the years we have seen Dan take home wins against some of the region’s best, including Greg Rebello, Dennis Olson, Jeff Nader, and Sloppy Joe Lamoureux. Last Thursday, in Charlotte, NC, Dan made the most of his biggest Bellator opportunity yet when he took a unanimous decision victory over Brian Rogers in the Bellator Middleweight Tournament quarter-finals. I caught up with Dan last night…
Fighting out of ATT, Dan has often used his ground game to secure victory; but in the Rogers fight he displayed a solid striking attack and powerful clinch game as well. “I’ve always trained my striking, but often times fights end up on the ground,” Dan told me. “But in this fight I knew that I would be able to showcase my striking.” Dan was able to strike very evenly with Rogers, who is known for his striking game. But it was Cramer’s clinch work and dominance on the ground that really put him over the top in this fight.
Dan seemingly controlled all three rounds for a unanimous decision victory. “I felt that I had won the first and third rounds,” he said. “But you never know. I’m always a bit nervous when they’re making that announcement, because you never know what the judges see.”
The North Carolina MMA commission does things a bit different than most states. Dan explained that NC has “day of” weigh-ins. This means that fighters don’t weigh in 25-30 hours ahead. “We had to wait till the day of the fights,” Cramer explained. “We actually weighed in just after midnight.”
Despite winning the fight on all three judges’ cards, Dan suffered an injury. “I got poked in the eye in the fight. It bothered me a bit during the fight, and it’s still a bit sore now.” Dan hasn’t sparred, or really even trained much, in the days since the win. “I’ve relaxed a bit and eaten some good food. I’ll head to the gym tomorrow, but no sparring till the eye (heals).”
Dan’s next opponent is Brett Cooper, who also won his quarter final fight via unanimous decision. Dan is still waiting to hear when the fight is scheduled for. “I’m hoping for late march,” he says. “I still need to have time for the eye to heal.”
Cramer had just great things to say about former opponents Greg Rebello and Jeff Nader. “I’ve gotten to know them over time and I really like those guys.” In recent interviews and conversations that I’ve had with Rebello and Nader, it is obvious that the feeling is mutual. I know that I’ve become a huge Dan Cramer fan as well. So as Dan begins the process of preparation for his semi-final fight with Brett Cooper, many NorthEast MMA fans and fighters will be pulling for him. I know I will.