Matt Brown's newfound status as a main eventer obviously isn't going to his head.
Barely 12 hours after Brown triumphed over Erick Silva in a thrilling welterweight battle in the main event of UFC Fight Night 40 in Cincinnati, MMA's Everyman was back home doing chores.
"I came home and it was only and hour, an hour and a half drive," the Ohio resident said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "I was mowing the grass by noon."
Of course, early in Saturday night's main event, it didn't look like Brown would be doing any sort of chores the next day. Silva rocked Brown with a vicious body kick early in the first round, then nearly finished the fight on the ground.
Brown said the fact he was caught cold, early in the fight, made the kick all the worse.
"The first one was the worst one," he said. "The other ones, they surely hurt but it was kind of like I said in the post fight conference, the first one caught me cold, that's when it hurts you most is when you're cold. After I was warmed up I was able to take it a little better and sort go with the flow of the fight. ... It didn't hit my ribs, it was liver/stomach. Honestly, it was still hurting even after the fight was over. Even walking backstage and stuff it was still hurting."
After hitting the mat, Brown took an unconventional approach, leaving his face open to give his midsection time to heal. The gambit paid off.
"After the first body shot I was actually thankful that he was punching my face," Brown said. "I was leaving my face open to get punched so that my body could recover. Which was a risk/reward thing and you only have a split second to think about it. And I know that if I get hit in the body again it could very potentially be over, so it was like, just hit me anywhere except for there. So I curled up, I grabbed his leg, and just hoped that he punched me in the face, and fortunately he went for a submission before destroying my face."
From there, Brown rallied and turned the fight in his favor. In a short-but-breathtaking span, the bout went from Silva's favor, to a firefight, to a matter of disbelief that Silva could continue absorbing the beating he took from Brown, before the fight was finally waved off in the third round.
Brown was, at times, as surprised by Silva's resilience as the people in the arena and the fans at home.
"I'm surprised the elbows weren't hurting him more," Brown said. "A lot of the things I was hitting him, he was doing a good job keeping his chin down. So a lot of the stuff I was hitting him with was on the top of his head, so it was hurting my hands, and elbows and stuff. There was a little bit of, normally when I hit someone as hard as I hit him, even with 16-ounce gloves in training, they fall over or they stop, they back yup, there was a lot of time I wasn't sure if I hurt him or not, which is a testament to him."
From here, the natural question is what Brown should do next, and whether he deserves the next shot at Johny Hendricks' welterweight title. On the pro side of the argument, a seven-fight UFC win streak is a rare thing, and one in which six of the wins came via finish rarer still. The con, welterweight is a deep division and Brown has yet to defeat a top-five guy.
Brown admitted his opinion is a bit biased.
"I have a hard time seeing this from the outside in," Brown said. "I don't know how I'd feel if I was on the outside, I don't see what the problem with giving me a title shot would be."
But he went on to state his case as best he could.
"I always have exciting fights," said Brown. "I've never put on a boring fight. I've got all these records for KOs I think, significant strikes and everything for punching a person, I think I've got a record for it. I've never put on a boring fight, I'm now I'm tied second for active winning streak. I'm sure if the reason would be that I have to fight a top 10, top five guy, that would be the only reason left."
Brown pocketed $100,000 in bonuses for his victory on Saturday, taking home Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night honors. You'd think with money starting to come in, Brown might be able to pay someone else to do the lawn for him.
But then, if that was the case, Matt Brown wouldn't be staying true to himself. Brown remembers what life was like before his career turnaround; it's what has helped him maintain an even keel.
"I lost 4 out of 5 a few years ago," Brown said. "I know what it's like to be at rock bottom in the UFC, I know who was there for me and who's not. I know who my friends are. I know who was there for me when I down. I know what that life feels like. All this I'll take it in stride and maintain humility throughout. I'm not going to forget where I came from.
"I'm a real person," Brown continued. "I can relate to every fan who was watching the UFC, because that was me 6-7 years ago. I don't think I've changed from that. I don't let it get to my head."