American Top Team coach Mike Brown has reacted to his positive COVID-19 test that will stop him from cornering Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night.
The news broke yesterday that Brown, who has been a long-time coach and friend of Masvidal, will not be able to be by his side in what many believe to be the biggest fight of his mixed martial arts career.
During a discussion with ESPN, Brown gave an update on his condition and how he’s feeling about his withdrawal.
“Just heartbroken I’m not going to see Jorge win the world championship in person,” Brown told ESPN. “Nobody deserves it more than this guy. Nobody has paid more dues. Jorge is also one of the most thoughtful athletes I’ve ever met. He makes everyone feel they are with him and a huge part of this journey.
“The truth is this guy has been honing his skills for more than 20 years and developed one of the highest fight IQs the sport has ever seen. As far as being COVID positive, I feel good. The only pain I feel is in my heart”.
Brown is widely considered to be one of the best coaches in the sport, but at UFC 251, he’ll have to cheer “Gamebred” on from the comfort of his hotel room – or wherever it is he’ll be quarantining.
Back in November after Masvidal beat Nate Diaz at Madison Square Garden, Brown showcased his confidence in Jorge by predicting what would happen if the two met in a rematch during an interview with MMA Fighting.
“I think we’d see the same thing,” Brown explained. “That was pretty damn one-sided. He won all three rounds, all three were pretty one-sided. I think that’s how it’s always going to be.
“I mean on a good day Jorge gets him out of there, and on a bad day, maybe the rounds are a little closer but [Jorge] still wins them. That’s what I see.”
“He had some tricks up his sleeve that he didn’t use that he was planning on executing. So there were one or two things that he didn’t do that he wanted to do,” Brown said. “We won’t give them away in case he still fights Diaz again.
“Basically, [the plan] was beat him up with kicks and fight him in the clinch, then beat him in the clinch. If it goes to the ground, be on top. Get our head free, good posture, ground and pound and kind of exactly what you saw was the game plan.”