Mike Brown Still Confident He Can “Beat The Best ” Quick Following UFC 133 Win
By Kelsey Mowatt
It may not have produced a highlight reel finish or earned “Fight of the Night” honors at UFC 133 Saturday night, but former WEC featherweight champ Mike Brown will gladly take the unanimous decision victory he scored over Nam Phan. Utilizing his wrestling and top game, Brown managed to outscore the resilient Phan to put an end to the 35 year-old veteran’s two fight losing streak.
“It wasn’t the best fight but it wasn’t the worst either,” Brown told FCF. “I was happy to get through it and get a win in the win column. That’s what’s most important. I had a bad streak there so it was really important to get the win.”
After Brown dominated Phan on the ground in round one, the former TUF competitor battled back in the second, before the American Top Team fighter once again controlled more of the action in round three to secure the UD win.
“At the end I kind of played it real safe,” Brown conceded. “Right when I knew I had the third round I kind of slowed the fight down to make sure I didn’t get hit with something, I kind of killed the clock because I needed to get the win. If I didn’t win I wouldn’t have a job.”
The victory was Brown’s first since September, 2010, when he stopped Cole Province shortly into their WEC 51 bout. After the victory, Brown proceeded to lose by split decision to Diego Nunes on January 1st, before dropping a unanimous decision to Rani Yahya just three weeks later at the UFC’s “Fight for the Troops 2” event.
“I don’t know what’s next,” Brown said. “I’m just taking it one fight at a time. I need to put a streak together and the streak starts at one.”
It wasn’t long ago that Brown was widely regarded as one of the world’s top featherweight competitors, before he lost the WEC title to Jose Aldo in November, 2009. Due to the fact he’s gone 3-3 since, questions have been raised by some, as to whether the 25-8 fighter remains one of the division’s best.
“Yeah now they are,” said Brown, when asked if he feels critics are overlooking him. “I have the capability of finishing any fight quit. I hit really hard and I have a lot of strong submission skills, where if I get a hold of what I want, it will be over no matter who you are.
“I can beat the best guy in the world quick,” Brown added. “If I hit a few of those in a row, where I finish guys like I can, cracking them with that hard right hand, everyone praises me. If I have a couple of tough fights it seems like everyone criticizes me.”
Now Brown will reportedly focus on helping his friend and ATT teammate Brad Pickett prepare for his November 8th, UFC 138 bout against Renan Barao, making December or January ideal for his next fight.
“There’s a whole bunch of them,” said Brown, while discussing who he sees as some of the top competitors in the featherweight division. “Of course (Chad) Mendes is right up there, Tyson Griffin is down there now, Javier Vazquez, Nunes is tough. There’s a boat load of guys.”
Mendes also earned a UD win at UFC 133, by working his way to a victory over the aforementioned Yahya. While many expect that Mendes will challenge the winner of the October 8th Aldo, Kenny Florian next, Brown admits that he’s interested in fighting the 11-0 featherweight.
“I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me,” said Brown, when asked if he’d be interested in fighting Mendes and how he believes he matches up against the contender. “I never like to call a guy out or anything like that. I think I match-up well; I always fight very well against wrestlers in training and in fights, because of my style, but man he’s number two in the world for a reason.”
Photo courtesy American Top Team