There’s an unmistakable feeling that happens every time Matt Brown steps inside the cage for a fight.
Somebody is probably going to bleed, someone will likely need stitches or a cast when it’s over, and Brown will be there every single time like a violent minister preaching a sermon of mayhem inside the Octagon.
Watching a Matt Brown fight is literally like a Pantera song come to life.
The early ’90s heavy metal band fronted by lead man Phil Anselmo committed unrelenting acts of brutality on the music world when performers like Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey were ruling the Billboard album charts.
Pantera songs weren’t typically radio-friendly or a song you’d ever hear at a club or dance party. No one was reading the lyrics to a Pantera song and looking for a deeper metaphorical connection, and Anselmo’s words weren’t going to be confused for those of Bob Dylan any time soon.
What Pantera songs did was bludgeon you across the face with unrelenting guitar riffs, heavy double-bass slams and straightforward lyrics not really filled with symbolism or hidden meaning.
It wasn’t poetry so much as an unapologetic punch to the teeth, and that describes Brown’s fighting style to perfection. He certainly displays skill and precision every time he fights, but Brown’s “step forward and kill anything that moves” mentality is what has put him on a recent five-fight win streak, with four of them coming by way of knockout or TKO.
Brown isn’t getting paid by the hour, and he knows that whoever is standing across the cage from him is there to beat him and take money out of his pocket and food from his children’s mouths. At that point, Brown becomes an apex predator—it’s kill or be killed, and there is no third option.
“Maybe there’s a little bit of fear, a little bit of hunger, I don’t know what it is. Maybe it’s a little bit of that primal nature,” Brown told MMA‘s Great Debate Radio. “Whatever it is, it’s there in me.”
Brown’s special brand of destruction, while unrelenting, could best be described as controlled demolition.
Buildings are falling down, and explosions light up the sky, but the dynamite and thermal charges were all placed strategically to make sure everything crumbles in perfect order. It may be Brown’s best weapon that he appears to just start launching punches and knees at his opponent’s head, but each strike is meant to land on its intended target while doing maximum damage.
To back that up with a few statistics, Brown lands significant strikes at 56.69-percent accuracy—the best average ever in welterweight history. He also happens to have seven knockouts at 170 pounds, which is another UFC record. It’s proof that Brown’s style may look like reckless abandon, but it’s his opponents who are left feeling like they were just in a five-car pile-up when they are done fighting him.
Even when he gets hurt like his last bout against Jordan Mein at UFC on Fox 7, where he was dropped early by the young Canadian, Brown just fires back and continues to battle until he gives everything left in the tank. It’s the kind of no-quit spirit that defines the run that Brown is on currently.
By the way, if you were curious about the end result of the fight with Mein? Brown won by TKO in the second round.
It’s just the way Brown is built, and it makes him one of the most dangerous fighters in the welterweight division. He never wants to win on points and never wants to eke out a close decision. Brown’s methods of victory include either an opponent lying unconscious, unable to defend himself, or the referee ripping him off to stop the carnage.
“I don’t even see how guys can fight boring, like in my mind I can’t even comprehend it. Some fights you see, guys are content to sit back and take it easy and grind out decisions. To me, I want to finish the guy every time, it’s in my nature,” Brown said. “I don’t understand how somebody can be in there and not be thinking that way.
“It’s not a knock against them, like Georges St-Pierre, he doesn’t really finish fights that much, but he’s obviously a very highly skilled guy, and I respect that but I can’t understand that mentality.”
The current five-fight win streak that Brown is riding ties him for third in the division for the longest runs at welterweight, with only champion Georges St-Pierre and current top contender Johny Hendricks besting his mark.
The confidence of winning shines in Brown’s performances, and if he can beat Mike Pyle at UFC Fight Night 26 on Saturday night it’s going to be hard to ignore his attempts to land the kind of fights that will put him in the title picture.
No matter how much anybody else wants to talk about it, Brown refuses to engage in that conversation this close to his fight on Saturday night. To him, Pyle is the best welterweight in the world, and the only fighter that matters right now.
“I try to completely forget about every past fight that I’ve had. I try to look at each fight as my last one,” Brown commented. “Since I started doing that I think I’ve started performing better in the cage. I try not to even think about that I’m on a win streak, or anything like that. Right now, August 17 is the last day of my life. That’s the way I look at it.”
Brown may not be in the top 10 of the welterweight division yet, but if he can do to Pyle what he’s done to four of his last fight opponents, it’s going to be hard to deny him a name like Carlos Condit, Martin Kampmann or Rory MacDonald next.
To get there, Brown’s mindset heading into his fight with Pyle could probably be summed up by one particular lyric from Pantera, because that’s all he may need to finish the job: “I ask you please just give us…five minutes alone.”
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