Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
Mike Brown was able to save his job and pick up his first UFC victory in the process with a unanimous decision win over The Ultimate Fighter veteran Nam Phan in a featherweight bout at UFC 133. Brown, who had lost all three of his previous trips to the octagon, came out and totally dominated the first round, earning a 10-8 score on one judges card. Phan recovered in the second with some good striking and took the round, but Brown turned the tables and outstruck Phan and took him down in the third round to seal the unanimous decision victory.
Brown moves up to 1-3 in the UFC overall (1-2 in this current run) and is finally headed in the right direction after a brutal two-year span that saw him go from champion to undercard fighter. Phan is now 0-2 in the octagon, though his first loss (to Leonard Garcia at The Ultimate Fighter 13 Finale) was highly disputed and is unlikely to be treated as a loss by the UFC. The bout took place on the Facebook portion of the broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Brown destroying Phan in the first round. After a takedown, Brown pushed him into a precarious position against the cage and completely unloaded on him, landing dozens of solid arm punches to the face and cutting Phan in the process.
Where do these guys go from here?
Brown gets to come back to the octagon once again, which was obviously the most important thing for him. He said in post-fight interviews that he felt like he might have been cursed, but the former WEC featherweight champion was able to turn it around and finally get that elusive W. Brown will likely get a upper mid-card featherweight next, perhaps Pablo Garza or Chan Sung Jung.
Phan looks to be in a bad position with an 0-2 record in the UFC, but he'll live to fight another day. He showed a lot of heart by rebounding from the butt-kicking he took in the first round, and clearly came back to win the second. He didn't look out of place against a former champion (even a champion that had fallen on hard times as of late), and I would expect that the UFC will give him his rematch with Leonard Garcia next, once Garcia is healthy enough to go.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Later. While Brown's savage beating of Phan in the first was pretty entertaining, he was never really close to finishing the fight. Phan showed off his standup in the second, landing some solid body shots, but it wasn't exactly Frye/Takayama in there. It's probably worth a watch at some point. Just not right now.
More BE coverage of UFC 133 in the full entry.