EXCLUSIVE | UFC veteran Matt Brown looks back on his career

Matt Brown

Matt Brown has been fighting in the UFC since 2008. During that time, Brown developed into a perennial contender in the UFC’s stacked welterweight division. Ultimately, however, Brown fell just short in his bid to fight for UFC gold. Nonetheless, Matt was fighting some of the top names in the sport, in the likes of Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, Johnny Hendricks, Donald Cerrone, Demian Maia, among others.

There is no question that Matt Brown has seen a lot in his storied career. Even with that, ‘The Immortal’ doesn’t really reflect on who he has fought in his career, because for him, it is just a fight no matter who the opponent is.

“People ask me that stuff all the time. I don’t really think about,” Matt Brown said to BJPENN.com. “Fighting everybody was pretty similar. The only person who stuck out was Robbie Lawler because he hits really hard. Other than that, everybody was pretty comparable.”

The landscape of the UFC has drastically changed throughout the duration of Matt Brown’s career. He was fighting before well before the FOX deal, a time where the UFC was simply trying to show the world that they could be a mainstream sport. Although that was cool, Brown was only worried about one thing when he was fighting.

“I don’t know, I guess I have never really thought about it. It is funny, being on the inside, doing what I do, I just bite down on my mouthpiece and go forward,” he said. “I don’t look around and see what is going around, you guys are probably more observant than I am.”

Biting down on his mouthpiece is what he did. He ended up having a tremendous career, and may still fight again. However, injuries have plagued Matt Brown as of late. After beating Diego Sanchez in 2017, Brown announced his retirement but then quickly ended it when a fight against Carlos Condit came up. The 37-year-old desperately wanted the Condit fight, and when he got it, it was huge news for him.

Then, while he was preparing for the fight, Brown tore his ACL and had to pull out of the fight. For most fighters, it would be an upsetting time, for Brown, he knew it was just a factor of life.

“It is what it is, man. Like what do you do? I can’t sit around and cry about it,” Brown said. “It wasn’t so much as having to pull out of the fight, it was the second time, like two weeks before. It was a long hard camp. I went through a lot of things to get where I was at and it all fell apart at the end. Again, I don’t dwell on it, it happened and we move forward from there.”

Brown indeed learned from that. With him opening up a gym and possibly looking to return to fighting, he knows the way UFC fighters train needs to change. Most fighters always go into a fight with some kind of injury from training camp. That is something Brown doesn’t really understand.

“The old school mentality of you are going to be hurt heading into a fight is outdated. I think I am past that, I am almost 38-years-old,” Brown said. “I think I can go into fights healthy and I think I should. Certainly, I can have different bumps and bruises but those can be justifiable. My best performances are when I walked in there feeling good and not gutting out the last couple of weeks battling injuries.”

For now, the focus is on the gym and making that successful. If a fight comes up that Brown wants, then he may indeed return to the Octagon in 2019.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 12/22/2018.