Fan favorite Matt Brown returns to the Octagon on May 16

Matt Brown, coronavirus

Matt Brown will return to action in a rescheduled welterweight matchup with Miguel Baeza on May 16.

The UFC fan favorite will collide against “Caramel Thunder” Baeza at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The card will air on ESPN/ESPN+.

The matchup was originally inked for March 28, in Columbus, Ohio. Like all major sporting events, the fight card was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. However, the UFC is doing whatever it takes to get back to business, and that includes the rebooking of Brown vs Baeza.

Matt Brown was out of action for over a year as he recovered from a torn ACL in early 2018. He made a statement return at UFC 245 in December, 2019 when he defeated Ben Saunders in a welterweight bout by second-round knockout. The 39-year old is ready to throw down but was nevertheless surprised by his upcoming matchup.

“Yeah, I was a little surprised,” Brown told MMA Junkie. “I was a little thrown off by it. I haven’t been offered a young up-and-comer like that for a long time. I’ve fought veterans and top-10 guys so, yeah, it threw me off a little bit. But I’ve never turned down a fight (and) wasn’t about to, so you just gotta do what you gotta do.”

His upcoming opponent popped up on the MMA radar in “Dana White’s Contender Series”. He rose to victory at his UFC debut against Hector Aldana where he won by TKO in the second round.

On the upcoming May 16 lineup, Walt Harris will face over Alistair Overeem in a heavyweight slugfest. Claudia Gadelha and Angela Hill will also battle it out on the fight card and Edson Barboza will see if his devastating leg kicks can dismantle Dan Ige at the event. Here’s how the May 16 fight card currently looks:

  • Alistair Overeem vs. Walt Harris
  • Angela Hill vs. Claudia Gadelha
  • Edson Barboza vs. Dan Ige
  • Matt Brown vs. Miguel Baeza
  • Eryk Anders vs Krzysztof Jotko
  • Song Yadong vs Marlon Vera
  • Anthony Hernandez vs Kevin Holland
  • Mike Davis vs Giga Chikadze
  • Cortney Casey vs Mara Romero Borella
  • Darren Elkins vs Nate Landwehr
  • Rodrigo Nascimento vs Don’Tale Mayes

How do you think Matt Brown will look in his return to the cage?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/5/2020.