With his first strike of the fight, Brown unloaded a beautiful front kick that blasted Gooden in the jaw. But when Brown brought his foot back down to the canvas, the Jamaican born welterweight saw that his big toe was completely dislocated.
“The first kick I threw, dislocated by big toe on him,” Brown said afterwards. “The first kick that hit his chin, right out of the gate.”
Throughout the fight, Brown was constantly stomping down on his own foot and trying to put the toe back into place. But despite the injury, he still put on a masterful performance with his striking to earn 30-27 scorecards from all three judges. The win moved Brown to 4-1 in his last five fights as he continues to serve as one of the most underrated talents in the UFC welterweight division.
While the front kick resulted in an injury to Brown, he still managed to rattle Gooden with the early front kick he landed and that helped him set the tone for the rest of the fight.
Despite constantly favoring his injured toe, Brown was still going strong with his strikes while Gooden was firing back with a series of overhand punches and kicks to the legs.
As the fight moved into the second round, Brown started to find a home for his jab and a powerful hook that followed behind it. There were a couple of moments where it appeared Gooden was wobbled for a moment after his chin was tested.
Brown continued to punish his opponent with that same right hand that was constantly giving Gooden problems. With Gooden still throwing heavy leather, Brown was very effective with his accuracy in return as he took advantage of his long reach while also picking and choosing the best times to really explode with his biggest shots.
When it was over, Brown had clearly done more than enough to get the victory in a high-profile showcase for him as the co-headliner on Saturday night at UFC Vegas 39. As far as what comes next, Brown is excited to see who the UFC throws at him as he looks to make a concerted push towards the rankings at welterweight.
“Right now, anybody can get it,” Brown said. “I’m building, I’m working. I’m hitting my stride, I’m ready for whatever, whenever, whoever, let’s go.”