Please excuse Brian Green if he's not acting like himself lately. That kind of thing tends to happen when the whole internet turns on you for something you can't quite remember.
As most fight fans know by now, Green became the latest casualty of the Kimbo Slice traveling circus last weekend, when the 26-year-old suffered a stunning knockout loss to Slice with three seconds left in the final round of the pair's boxing match. Never mind that Green, a 185-pound submission ace with a non-existent boxing background, accepted the fight on late notice as a favor when Slice's camp became overzealous in their demands, and then proceeded to dominate Slice over the ensuing 12 minutes.
But those kind of details offer context that is impossible to garner from a grainy YouTube video shot at an unforgiving crowd angle, and unfortunately for Green, that video was all we got. The clip, which has already made the internet rounds to the tune of over 1.3 million views, quickly incited furor from an MMA community already reveling in a deep-seeded grudge against Slice, leading Green to become a pariah in his own world.
"I can't even put into words how bad this sucks," Green regretfully admitted on The MMA Hour.
"Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have gone out and ran from him for the entire fourth round or clinched him the entire fourth round. Anything to just last, because I was up on the official scorecards, three rounds to one. 11 minutes and 57 seconds of a boxing match with Kimbo Slice, what Kimbo Slice is good at, and I was winning."
Green can accept the loss. After all, what's one more setback in a sea of thousands?
No, it's the criticisms of his heart and accusations of throwing the fight that eat away at him. The idea that he would suffer four rounds of damage from an immensely larger foe, just to give up at the last moment.
"He hit me with a left uppercut, a straight right, and a left hook, and those three all landed," Green thickly explained. "Three consecutive punches from a 250-pound man is enough to knock people out. I don't understand."
As for the post-fight interviews fans are pointing to as proof of a fix, Green says he was so concussed he can't even remember any them taking place.
The ultimate kicker is that there was more at stake than pride here. Before Kimbo ever entered the picture, Green was just another up-and-coming middleweight, cruising after finally landing decent management and finishing seven straight opponents. Everything was coming together, and Green's biggest payday was right around the corner -- a chance to avenge his last loss inside his home state of Iowa.
But when an opportunity to fight a massive name like Kimbo Slice unexpectedly walks right through the front door, how do you say no?
"For anybody that thinks I got paid to do it, why would they even feel the need to pay a guy that fights at 185 (pounds) who has an 80-percent win ratio by submission?" Green vehemently asked. "They thought they were going to run right through me.
"What do you think this would do for my career? If I'm an MMA fighter with an 80-percent win ratio by submission, and I go out there and I last to a decision with Kimbo Slice, or had I not got freaking caught in the last three seconds, doggone it, what would that have done for my MMA career?
"After everything that's happened, I almost wish I didn't even take the fight," Green sadly concluded.
Believe Green when he says that. Between tearing his left ankle, right knee, and the right side of his groin in the fall, plus some potential orbital bone damage and the automatic medical suspension that comes with a knockout, Green's big MMA payday is now out of the question.
But even after the most dramatic week of his life, Green can't help but be bluntly honest when asked about his opinion of Kimbo Slice as a fighter.
"He's really overrated."