At UFC 245, Matt Brown makes his return to action for the first time in more than two years when he faces Ben Saunders as part of the promotion’s final pay-per-view this year.
One week earlier, ex-welterweight champion Carlos Condit takes on Mickey Gall at the UFC on ESPN 7 card from Washington D.C.
Many fans have wondered why the UFC didn’t match Brown against Condit after two attempted bookings – one at UFC on FOX 9 and the other on UFC on FOX 29 – were scratched by injury. Brown is with them.
“I have no idea,” Brown told MMA Fighting with a laugh. “You’d know better than me. I actually don’t know. All I did was reply yes to an email from (UFC matchmaker) Sean Shelby, and I didn’t even look at who the opponent was.
“I saw, ‘Do you want to fight?’ That was in the subject line, and I just said yes.”
When Brown eventually figured out he drew Saunders as an opponent, he was more than happy to accept that challenge.
“It seems like a good matchup, and we’ll have a lot of fun,” Brown said about Saunders. “He’s certainly a tough puzzle to solve. He’s got some things that are difficult to deal with — his rubber guard, his length, he’s a tall guy, (and) he’s got a really good Thai clinch. I think it’s a great matchup.”
As far as the long awaited showdown with Condit, Brown isn’t giving up hope. It could still happen one day, but much like every fight in his career, it’s going to come down to timing.
“Of course (I’m interested),” he explained. “I think me and Carlos we’ve been right here the whole time, and I think we’re in a little bit of different spots now. It certainly would have been better a few years ago.
“It seems like I get hurt every time we’re supposed to fight, but we’ll kind of see where he’s at after he fights Mickey. We’ll see where Mickey’s at, we’ll see where Carlos is at, we’ll see where I’m at and everybody. We’re all in our own piece of the division right now.
“There’s a whole other part of the division that we need to be focused on. The fights between all of us are fun fights that are kind of building towards something bigger. We’ll have a lot figured out around the December time frame. Hopefully everybody gets some money and all of our kids can have a good Christmas and have a Happy New Year, get back to training and bust each other’s noses up next year.”
Brown, who teased his own retirement back in 2017 prior to a knockout win over Diego Sanchez, says he’s currently just focusing on one fight at a time rather than thinking too far into the future.
After opening his own school — Immortal Martial Arts in Columbus, Ohio — Brown has fallen in love with coaching, which in turn has reinvigorated his passion for fighting.
“I want to inspire others and show others what can be done,” Brown explained. “Then we’ll see how I perform (and) how I feel throughout the camp. I’m very confident that I’m going to be good enough to go in and put on a great performance, but we’ll see how well that performance actually turns out.
“We’re going to go one at a time. I’m going to go Dec. 14, whoop his ass, have a very merry Christmas and we’ll go from there.”