Matt Brown knew retiring from mixed martial arts was going to be a tough call.
For a person who has been fighting all his life — whether through personal turmoil or during a career in MMA that has spanned more than a decade — Brown was born and bred to go to battle.
Ahead of his last fight with Diego Sanchez, Brown announced that he would be calling it a career afterwards because making that declaration was the only way he’d really stick to the plan.
What followed was a tremendous training camp that reinvigorated his love of the sport and Brown capped it all off with an eye popping knockout as he slammed home an elbow strike that sent Sanchez falling as if his bones had just been removed from his body and there was nothing left to support his frame as he crashed to the canvas.
The knockout earned Brown another $50,000 bonus — the sixth time he’s won an award like that in the UFC — and it left him wondering if there still wasn’t a little more fight left in him after all.
Now a few weeks removed from the victory, Brown is still contemplating his future as he decides if he’s ready to make one more run at the top of the welterweight division or if it’s time to truly call it a career and move onto new endeavors.
“I can’t say I have an answer right now to be honest. I really just need to think about it a lot more. Like I said before the fight, I’m not going to come back for one fight. I’m not going to come back to just do a fight. If I come back, it’s going to be for a title run,” Brown said on his podcast. “I know that I have it in me. I’m not going to try to sit here and convince people, they either believe me or they don’t.
“I have the f–king tools, skills, everything that I need to be a champion. I didn’t accomplish that and that’s what bothers me. I haven’t accomplished what I’m capable of accomplishing. So that’s my motivator and driver to come back.”
As much as Brown knows he has unfinished business inside the Octagon with the confidence that he could climb back up the rankings if he truly dedicated himself, he also has to see the other side of this argument.
To fight for a UFC title, Brown would have to give up time with his wife and three children. He would need to become a very selfish person because that’s what it takes to truly get ready for any fight, much less preparing to face the best of the best in the welterweight division.
That’s where Brown is torn with his decision on fighting again or retiring because his decision will affect more people than just the guy stepping back into the Octagon or not.
“Whether I have the energy, time, if I’m willing to sacrifice that time away from my children, that time away from my family, my wife, that’s another thing,” Brown admitted. “That’s where I’ve got to put it all together and say is it really worth all that.
“Cause to go for a championship run, I don’t how other guys do it but for me that requires an intense dedication and sacrifice and [my family] has to sacrifice with me.”
As of now, Brown is just enjoying life and preparing for the holidays while tackling a few new business ventures outside the cage. Perhaps the best part about the situation is that the Ohio native is in a good place to figure out what comes next, no matter what he decides.
Right now, Brown is coming off a potential ‘knockout of the year’ candidate, which would put him into position for a big fight or he can ride off into the sunset knowing that he just beat a legend in Sanchez in his final trip inside the Octagon.
“That’s something that just needs to be thought about and pondered on and talked about with the wife and the family and close friends,” Brown said about his ultimate decision. “You’ve just got to go all in one way.”