by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com (Photo courtesy of PishnaPhoto.com)
(Photo courtesy of April Pishna – www.PishnaPhoto.com)

There are many people out there who don’t know who Mike Brown is. After his fight on June 1 for World Extreme Cagefighting, they just might. Brown, a featherweight out of American Top Team, will be taking on Urijah Faber’s last opponent, Jeff “The Big Frog” Curran at WEC 34.

Brown has fought a stellar list of opponents in his career. Boasting an impressive 16-4 record, he has competed against top talent such as Hermes Franca, Mark Hominick, Genki Sudo, and Joe Lauzon. Most recently, Brown defeated the well-respected Yves Edwards in Bodog Fight.

Riding a six-fight winning streak, he is looking to catapult to the top of the 145-pound division in the WEC with a win over Curran.

“My management called and said that the WEC was interested,” said Brown recently on MMAWeekly Radio. “I was with Bodog before that. I actually still had a contract with Bodog, but I really wanted to fight the best guys at 145 and that’s where they are all at.”

If one were to look at Brown’s record, they would be lead to believe that he mostly fought in the 155-pound division. However, Brown has only had a couple of fights at lightweight. “I only had a few fights at 155. I just fought a lot of big names at 155. My fight in the UFC (a loss to Genki Sudo) was at 155.”

While Brown has held his own in the lightweight division, he feels that he holds some significant advantages over his opponents in the featherweight division. “I like being the stronger guy, of course,” he explained. “Who doesn’t like that? Also, the height factor. It’s tougher to deal with. Some of those guys are so tall at 155. It’s harder to deal with in the striking, I think.”

Brown will need all of those advantages against Curran, who is well known for his fantastic jiu-jitsu. Even with Curran’s most recent loss to current WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber, he is still among the top featherweights in the world and provides a very formidable challenge to Brown.

Some fighters may have been intimidated with a tough match-up like Curran, but Brown was not worried at all. In fact, he was excited. “It was big. It’s a Top 10 guy. I was really happy with the match up.”

Brown holds a very loose game plan in his fight with Curran because he believes that Curran is so well rounded. “I think he’s a good mixed martial arts fighter. It’s not a guy you can take into a really weak point that he has. My game plan is to fight an MMA fight. To go out there and box, kickbox and then see how it goes. As far as strengths, I think I’m probably the better wrestler. He has the edge in jiu-jitsu. Standup: we’ll see what happens. That’s it. We’ll have to see what happens June 1.”

Mike Brown self-admittedly believes he is the better wrestler in the fight, so it’s natural that comparisons with Urijah Faber’s fight may be pertinent to the bout with Curran. Brown, however, doesn’t seem to believe he is very comparable to Faber as far as style is concerned. “Not really, because Urijah is so different than a lot of people. He’s so wild and unpredictable where I have more of a set style than Urijah. I do think Curran has trouble with wrestlers.”

If Mike Brown is successful on June 1, he’ll be on the very short list to fight the winner of the Jens Pulver and Urijah Faber main event title bout.

There are all different types of fighters. There are fighters that fight for money. There are fighters that fight to test their skills. There are fighters that fight to be champion. For Mike Brown, he just wants to be respected and recognized as one of the top fighters in the 145-pound division.

“Of course, everyone wants to be the champ,” said Brown. “I just want to be considered one of the best. I want to win the title, of course. I want to be up there with an echelon of guys like Faber, Pulver. The best fighter doesn’t always win. I would just like to be considered one the better guys in the weight class. That’s my goal.”

The featherweight division in the WEC has produced some exciting fights throughout the last few years and this fight promises to follow that trend.

Brown concurs, “We’re gonna battle. It’s gonna be a good one. I think it’s going to be a stand up war honestly. I think you’ll see a lot of stand up.”