Former WEC Champ Mike Brown: “I Know I Still Have It In Me”
UFC Vet Discusses Recent Knee Injury and Possible Return Date
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although Mike Brown technically finished 2011 on a winning note, by scoring a unanimous decision victory over Nam Phan in August, the decorated veteran’s year came to a close in disappointing fashion. Just as Brown had begun to prepare for a January 20th bout with Vagner Rocha–and the goal of a second consecutive win following back-to-back defeats last January–a knee injury forced the 36 year-old-featherweight to the sidelines.
“I tore the cartilage pretty good on the inside, and I had an old tear on the outside,” Brown told FCF, while discussing the surgery his injured left knee recently underwent. “They cut out some of the meniscus on the medial and the lateral side, there was also some loose bone chips, a lot of scar tissue, so they cleared all that up. I just had surgery but it feels better than it has in a long time. The knee has been bothering me for like a year.”
Ultimately, the former WEC champ reports, that it was the timing of the injury which forced his decision to withdraw from the bout.
“It popped bad and then I couldn’t do anything,” said Brown (25-8). “I couldn’t wrestle, I couldn’t kick or grapple; I could box but then it would swell up bad. I can say that if my camp was done, and I was fighting this weekend, I probably would have fought on it. I couldn’t do a camp on it though. I couldn’t train hard. I would spar and then it would be a mess…I was just two weeks in, and realized, ‘oh man’, I can’t prepare for the fight.”
A quick survey of Brown’s record reveals that he’s fought at least three times annually throughout much of his decade long career, but not because the American Top Team fighter hasn’t incurred his share of injuries.
“If I’ve gone through a camp it’’s hard to stop me from fighting,” Brown noted. “I’m like that. I’ve gone into fights with pretty bad cuts, gone into fights with dissolvable stitches in my face, I just say screw it, I’m fighting anyways. Just because of all that work you put in to preparing for a fight, I don’t want to just flush that down the drain.”
“For sure I’ve fought with something that others have pulled out of fights for,” Brown added. “I just think, ‘man, that’s so much work I’ve put in.’ I want to get paid for that. To spend six, seven weeks of hard training, and to do it for free? For nothing?… If I thought it would really affect my chances of winning a fight I wouldn’t do it.”
Although Brown’s knee injury required surgery, fortunately for the fighter, it appears as though he’ll be ready to return to action soon.
“I just saw my doctor, my rehabiiltation is going well and I got my stitches out,” Brown said. “So I’m already able to hit the heavy bag, hit the mitts, so I’m getting close. I’m thinking April, I have to talk to Sean Shelby first, but I’’ll be ready to fight. I don’t know if they’ll have anything open, but if not, May. I’ll be ready to fight in a couple months.”
Brown’s aforementioned win over Phan came at a crucial time for the vet, as it returned him to the winner’s circle, after he dropped decision losses to Diego Nunes and Rani Yahya on January 1st and 22nd respectively last year.
“I just need to put a string of wins together,” said Brown while discussing his latest victory. “It wasn’t the most amazing performance of my career, but I’ve had a few struggles lately. It started the beginning of a win streak; that’s what I need, I need not one, not two, but three or four good solid names under my belt. That will get me to where I want to be.”
“I just need to keep plugging away, keep driving, and I’ll get there,” Brown added. “I know I still have it in me. I train very well and I train with great guys. I’m very capable of beating the best in the world.”