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Matt Brown Talks James Wilks Fight at UFC 105, Leaving US for First Time

UFC welterweight Matt Brown winded down his hard training last week in Seattle and leaves the US for the first time in his life for his UFC 105 fight this weekend in the UK against The Ultimate Fighter 9 winner James Wilks.

In this exclusive interview with FanHouse, find out why, although the season seven TUF competitor feels Wilks is more technical, Brown expects to be the one walking out of the Octagon with his hand raised.

Ray Hui: How would you compare yourself to your opponent?

Matt Brown: I think compared to me, he's a lot more finesse, tries to be kind of smoother with things, where I just go for it a little harder. He probably has more technical skill than me, I think. I think I'll have better timing and more power. I think I can match him speed-wise. I got better footwork than him. Basically, I feel he's the type of dude that if we were both hitting pads, he would look better, but if we sparred, I would beat him up.

This is your first time fighting outside of the States, when are you flying in to get accustomed to the changes?

This is my first fight out of the States. It'll actually be the first time I've been out of the States.

Oh, Really?

Yeah. [Laughs.] I actually just got my passport recently. Yeah, I'm flying in Monday, getting there on Tuesday. I got my coach Matt Hume with me, he's been out of the states a million times, all the different time zones so I'll be with him and he'll tell me exactly what to do to be prepared the whole time.

The tables are kind of turned on you this time. The last time you fought was in your hometown of Ohio, and this time your opponent will receive the overwhelming support. Talk about the reaction you got at UFC 96 and in a way, will that be preparing you for the ovation Wilks will receive at 105?

To be honest, I'd probably rather not be in my hometown. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed fighting in my hometown and getting all my fans, family, friends and everything to be there to watch me fight, but it kind of puts the pressure on you. Going over [to the UK], I'm going to feel less pressure. For me, the type of person I am, the pressure is about the same no matter what, but if it's going to affect anybody negatively, I think it would affect him because he's going to have the pressure on him to perform for his crowd.

Going into the Pete Sell fight, you said you knew it had Fight of the Night written all over it, do you think James Wilks matches up with you for an exciting fight?

I think it could be. I don't think we've seen the best of this guy. I think he has a lot more to offer than what he's shown. In my opinion, it's going to be a matter of how he shows up. I know I'm in great shape you guys have seen me fight – I come to fight every time. We haven't really seen him in a tough battle so I don't know. I said that about Pete Sell because I've seen him in tough battles and that dude will keeping fighting through it. You've even seen when I basically had him knocked out on his feet and still kept trying to fight. That's why I thought that would be fight of the night cause if he was on his feet, he was going to be throwing punches. I was just able to beat him to the punch every time.

Wilks, it's hard to say. He hasn't been through the type of tests that Sells has been through. There is the potential that one punch and he will collapse like a little girl, but I think he's got more skills than we've seen in him in the past. When after we get into the fight a little bit, and he's able to maintain his composure and keep those skills coming, then it should be a ridiculous, crazy-good fight.

I think it's kind of ironic you planned a move out to Las Vegas to avoid distractions. Many people go there as an escape from monotony.

That was part of the reason I moved to Vegas. Some of the others there were a lot of different training partners here. You get a lot of different styles. I have friends here that are world-class Muay Thai standup fighters and good friends that are world-class grapplers. But actually, I've been doing my training camp in Seattle with Matt Hume. I live in Vegas, I'm from Ohio but I train in Seattle. So it's kind of a complicated situation.

Is AMC your new camp now? I remember you said you were training at the Warrior Training Center.

For Sell, I stayed here in Vegas, but AMC is my spot. I trained there for the Dong-Hyun Kim {too].

That fight was extremely close. You two have trained together since, does that mean a potential rematch would be out of the question?

We trained together but that didn't change anything. I'd still rematch him and he'd still rematch me. Even after training together we're pretty close in terms of skill level and fight ability. A rematch would be another real tough fight. It'd be hard for any of us to finish. I would say it's more than likely me and him would accept rematch before the UFC would accept a rematch.

Before TUF, you said you weren't even sure if you were going to pursue MMA full-time, and after you've won three UFC fights and your one loss was razor thin. What can you attribute to the big turnaround?

The biggest thing is the ability to train full-time. I don't have any other job now. The reason before I was fighting I was considering only doing it part-time, there were so many fights where I was fighting for rent money. That puts a lot of pressure on you, man, when you know if you lose this fight, you aren't going to eat very well this month, until the next fight. That put loads of pressure on you. That's a big distraction for your training and the fight itself. Just having that not that is probably made the biggest difference. Now I can just focus the fight. I feel like there's a lot less pressure even though I'm in the UFC, on national television. I actually feel less pressure.

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