Matt Brown has risen from the ashes to become a stellar welterweight in the UFC's 170-pound decision. He has won five fights in a row, most recently stopping Jordan Mein at UFC on Fox 7 in April. He's now set to face Thiago Alves at UFC on Fox Sports 1 1 in August. Brown spoke to Bleacher Report about his fight with Alves, and also had a lot to say about UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. First he broke down the UFC 166 title bout between GSP and Johny Hendricks:
"I can see Hendricks catching him, giving (GSP) some problems early. But, Hendricks seems pretty linear, simple, straightforward in his approach to fighting...all of his knockouts came from the same punch, the same set ups. Unless he brings something new to the table, I'd say GSP is prepared. It's really hard to imagine Hendricks even being able to outwrestle St-Pierre. GSP by decision ... (he) ain't submitting or TKO-ing anybody."
He says he'd rather face GSP though, because he thinks he can beat him:
"I would rather beat GSP (as opposed to Hendricks) since he's probably going to be a hall-of-famer, a living legend: I want to beat the legend. GSP would not stand with me and would definitely look to take me down, but my wrestling is on a completely different level from what people have seen from me. I've been training with the Ohio ROTC wrestling team (in Columbus, Ohio) for years now, guys with Olympic aspirations, the best wrestling team in America. I don't think GSP can wrestle as well as any of those guys."
In fact, he REALLY thinks he can beat him. To the point of saying that Alves is a tougher matchup for him than the current champ:
"I think he'd be scared to get close enough to hit me because I'm not going to avoid anything he throws. I'm going to step right in the pocket and throw down. He's not going to have any option but to be on the feet with me. Even if he has the skills to stand, he would not be able to handle my pressure, tenacity and desire to win. I think I'm one of the worst match ups for GSP."
"Everyone thinks I'm delusional and crazy for thinking that, but I know who I am. If I go in there the best I can be, I know I'd destroy GSP. When I come in against GSP, I'm going in to take the belt from him, I'm not going to play around with the world title on the line. I'm 110% confident, if I show up at my best, he does not stand a chance in hell against me. This match up with Thiago is a far tougher match up for me than GSP."
Wow. I'm all for confidence, but that's just...wow. Instead of throwing in some witty, biting commentary, I think I'll just let the words speak for themselves this time. Bloody Elbow's 2012 fighter of the year also addressed where he got his nickname from:
"My friends started calling me 'The Immortal' after a heroin overdose in either 2002 and 2003 and I've had other brushes with death besides that," he recalled. "A fight promoter on the regional scene just threw the name out there before a fight one time, and it just stuck. I never actually wanted the nickname, but I started to like it after that."
"I was naive at the time (of the heroin overdose), I didn't understand what I'd done and how big of a deal it actually was. Over time, I started realizing how far I was going in the wrong direction and how much I needed change. I started training MMA because I enjoyed it and eventually I realized I enjoyed that more than partying."
Brown has to go through a few roadblocks before he ever shares an octagon with the likes of Hendricks or GSP, and step one will be beating Alves on August 17th in Boston.