In the UFC today, most of the fighters have been heralded since their teenage years. Whether they were world champions in other martial arts, Olympians, All Americans, most of the fighters have an impressive history and pedigree in martial arts. It is a far cry from the early days in the UFC, when it was hardly anything more than a gritty and tough bar fight. However, there is one fighter that personifies the grittiness, toughness and heart of the early days and that is Matt Brown.
Before he even had an interest in MMA or any martial art, Brown was headed down a dark path in life. After high school, Matt Brown became addicted to a variety of drugs and alcohol. In fact, his nickname “The Immortal” actually was given to him by his friends after he survived a heroin overdose. After that reality check, Brown realized that he needed a new hobby and interest to keep him away from the partying. He decided that this new hobby would be Jiu-Jitsu, which ultimately led him to take up MMA.
And after a decent amateur and early pro career, Brown got the biggest break of his career when he was invited to appear on season 7 of the Ultimate Fighter. Though he didn’t win the show, his performances were good enough to earn him a UFC contract. Right from the get go, Brown had a fairly up and down UFC career. He was basically trading wins and losses in the UFC until an unfortunate string of losses almost cost him his job in 2010 as he lost three in a row.
However, the UFC gave him the benefit of the doubt and he made the most of it as he went on a 7 fight win streak from 2012 to mid-2014, which earned him a title eliminator fight against Robbie Lawler (a fight in which the winner would fight for the UFC Welterweight Championship). While he lost that fight, he put on a great performance and the fight was one of the best of 2014. Since then, he has fought a ton of top level talent in the division and while he has lost 3 of his last 4, he is always game for a fight and never backs down from anyone.
And when it comes to his fighting, he is perhaps the grittiest fighter in history. He will bring constant pressure on you and try and overwhelm you with a flurry of punches. And what he may lack in formal training and technique, he makes up for with pure heart and determination to win. He is also never out of a fight as the man has never been knocked out even though he has been in there with some of the best strikers on the planet.
So if you ever see a fight card with Matt Brown’s name on it, do yourself a favor and watch it as he is a treat to watch every time. Your next chance to see him is at UFC 201 on July 30th as he takes on Jake Ellenberger.