The growth of mixed martial arts over the course of the last few years has led to a lot of bells and whistles surrounding the sport. A lot of fans tend to focus the core of their attention around the UFC, when in reality there’s a whole world full of talented fighters out there – and it’s a world that Glenn Sparv thrives in.
The name Sparv may have initially grabbed your attention there, and the reason is because his brother Tim is actually a professional footballer for Danish side FC Midtjylland. We recently spoke with the defensive midfielder in another exclusive interview, which led into Glenn following in his brother’s footsteps.
Which, ironically enough, isn’t something that’s so unusual when it comes to the Finnish brothers. Having grown up in small yet humble surroundings the duo were encapsulated with the sport of ‘football’ or as our American friends know it ‘soccer’.
Alas it seemed as if Glenn was destined for pastures new in another sport, and sooner rather than later it became apparent to his friends and family around him that his intimidating size and outstanding athleticism could be put to good use.
“I come from a very small town in Finland and MMA wasn’t really a big deal. I just wanted to go somewhere, anywhere. It didn’t really matter if it was Thailand or around Europe. I saw this opportunity with fighters being sponsored in Thailand and I jumped on it.”
Sparv has travelled all over the world in an attempt to hone his craft, and those years of training and dedication have led into him becoming one of the most well rounded Europeans in the fight game. That isn’t us just blowing smoke, either, because Glenn will be the first person to admit that the journey up to this point hasn’t exactly been all smooth sailing.
Of course the same can be said of anyone in this profession, but it’s rare to find someone so down to earth with a personality that allows him to keep his feet firmly on the ground at all times.
Given that he’s still only in his late 20s it may come as a surprise to many that Glenn’s professional career started way back in 2010, with a second round TKO victory setting the tone for what has thus far been an extremely promising tenure in MMA.
It’s not like the guy has set up shop in Thailand either, with appearances in Singapore, China, Sweden, the Philippines and more to his name. Perhaps the heavy travel around the globe is one of the reasons why brother Tim went for football as opposed to slogging it out with world-class fighters.
Glenn, much like his brother, has a passion for what he does that’s always going to increase your chances of finding success. That sounds cliché, but when you compare all of the top names in Bellator and the UFC right now it’s clear to see that those who fall down the rankings have lost their love for the sport more often than not.
That isn’t the case with Mr Sparv and it’s unlikely that it ever will be, with a series of damaging weight cuts and injuries still not being enough to detract him from his end goal.
“I was cutting too much weight and my body was just shutting down.”
You can make a case for Glenn being ‘too reserved’ given the outlandish nature of the Conor McGregors and Michael Bispings of the world, but legends like Georges St-Pierre have proven that variety and diversity is vital to success. Glenn likes to get his head down, focus on the task at hand and maintain a routine that will lead to the best possible outcome. Some may not read too much into that, but we think it’s a testament to his character.
With an upcoming fight against the 8-1 Brandon Ropati on the cards it’s clear that The Teddy Bear isn’t afraid to test himself, and we can’t wait to see where this journey takes him next.