Matt Brown reveals brutal truth on short-notice UFC fights, offers advice to fellow fighters


Matt Brown knows there are fights on his record he had no business taking, but that didn’t stop him from accepting the challenge when the UFC came calling.

Now he places the blame squarely on his own shoulders for those decisions because ultimately the UFC just made him the offer and it was up to him whether or not to say yes. Even in defeat, there are still times when Brown recognizes that helping out when the UFC needed him paid off in the long run but he’s reconciled now after more than 40 fights in his career that you always have to look at the bigger picture when considering a short-notice opportunity in the UFC.

“One of the tips I would give younger guys, if you see successful guys in any venture, one of the commonalities that you’ll see is their ability to zoom out,” Brown explained on The Fighter vs. The Writer. “So being able to look at your fight career, your fighting journey as a whole and zooming out on it.

“I think some people, whether for good or bad, don’t really zoom out and they hear an opportunity [and they say] yeah, let’s go fight. I think I made that mistake a lot when I was younger. I took a lot of short-notice fights. Now the advantage of it, it does earn you favor with the UFC. I think it earned me favor and earned me a lot of respect and it came in handy at times. [But] what I would suggest to guys is zoom out. Look at your career as a marathon and not as a sprint.”

Short-notice fights can definitely pay off but there are also numerous examples where that kind of opportunity backfired spectacularly. Perhaps the most example is UFC 294 where featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski accepted a lightweight title fight rematch against Islam Makhachev on just 10 days’ notice after coming up short by decision in their first encounter.

Despite his best effort, Volkanovski ultimately suffered a brutal first-round knockout that served as the first time he had been finished since the fourth bout of his pro career back in 2013. Volkanovski didn’t necessarily express regret about his decision to take the fight but there were still consequences— arguably the biggest impact, which is a second loss to Makhachev likely prevents a third fight from happening anytime soon, if ever again.

Brown definitely understands that kind of harsh reality because he knows that as time passes, fans and critics won’t always remember every circumstance that surrounded a fight but the result still reads as a knockout loss on Volkanovski’s record.

“No one knows, cares or remembers what type of notice you got for that fight,” Brown said. “How prepared you were, no one knows, cares or remembers whether you had an injury. None of this s***. The only thing people are going to remember a week from now, if not a year from now or whatever, they see it on Tapology, Sherdog or whatever, they see the record.

“They don’t see all the asterisks next to it that you could be putting. I could put all kind of asterisks next to so many of my fights, wins and losses. I’m sure my opponents could do the same but no one sees, knows or cares about that s***.”

As far as making that decision, Brown says another key component that every fighter needs to have before accepting a short notice fight are keeping people around that will tell you difficult truths.

Sadly, Brown sees it time and time again that fighters surround themselves with the wrong crowd, often times filled with yes men, who aren’t always looking after an athlete’s best interest.

While he readily admits that he hasn’t always taken the advice he’s been offered from those around him, Brown appreciates that there are coaches and friends that will tell him what he needs to hear — even if that’s not what he wants.

“I see way too many fighters with their friends around them and guys that love to help them out and hang out with them,” Brown said. “People they enjoy being around them, which is great, but you’ve got to have a couple of guys that are just confronting the truths of the situation. Like dude, you’re not doing enough grappling, you’re not doing enough conditioning. You’re dropping your hands too much. No, you shouldn’t take that fight. You’ve got to have somebody around you that puts their foot down and tells you the honest truth.

“I can think of specific examples where I took fights on short notice and my coaches told me not to. I didn’t listen and lost the fight and looking back saying damn, I should have listed to those motherf******.”

Of course, Brown always admires the fighters who are willing to take those chances and take short notice fights because he’s done it often throughout his own career. He just hopes fighters looking at those opportunities do it with open eyes rather than just blindly accepting whatever the UFC throws at them.

“I love when guys step up on short notice and have the balls to do that,” Brown said. “I highly respect that. I’ve always been the guy that did that. But you have to weigh the risk/reward.”

Listen to new episodes of The Fighter vs. The Writer every Tuesday with audio only versions of the podcast available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio


Source link

You May Also Like