On Saturday night, UFC welterweight Matt Brown pocketed $100,000 in bonus money on Saturday night for his "Fight of the Night" and "Performance of the Night" winning effort. Brown's fight versus Erick Silva was heralded by many as one of the best fights of 2014, and one of the best first rounds in UFC history. Despite the accolades and infusion of cash, on Sunday Matt Brown was just another dude out mowing his lawn.
Early in the fight Brown (19-11) absorbed a well-placed liver kick from Silva that sent Brown to the mat. Brown was able to recover from that strike, which was followed by a submission attempt from Silva, and take control of that fight. After unleashing a torrent of damaging strikes of his own, Brown earned the TKO win at the 2:11 mark of Round 3.
Brown appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday and spoke about his win over Silva, saying the effects from that first round kick lingered until he made his way back to the dressing room after having his hand raised in victory. As for what he was thinking when the kick dropped him, Brown said, "I was leaving my face open to get punched so my body could recover. It's sort of a risk / reward thing. You only have a split second to think about it, and I know that if I get hit in the body again, it could potentially be over, so (I was thinking) hit me anywhere except there."
Silva obliged Brown's unspoken request. The ground fighting that followed the kick gave Brown time to recover, and come back with a vengeance to put a beating on his 29-year-old Brazilian opponent.
The victory was Brown's seventh straight win in the UFC, and the manner in which he secured the victory had many debating if Brown is deserving of the next shot at welterweight champion Johny Hendricks. When asked to give his thoughts on the subject, Brown said, "I believe, on paper, when you compare what other guys have done to get title fights, I believe that I've done enough to get a title fight."
The 33-year-old Brown admitted that he is aware that the UFC considers many things other than what appers "on paper" when deciding title fights. Brown also commented, "I have a hard time seeing this from the outside in. I don't see what the problem with giving me a title shot would be. I've never had a boring fight. I've got all these records, I think now, for the KO's and I think significant strikes - everything for punching the person I think I have just about a record for it. "
In Brown's eyes, the one thing that could prevent him from earning a title shot following his win over Silva is the fact that he has not defeated a top ten opponent during his seven fight winning streak. Brown acknowledged, "There couldn't be any other possible reason not to give me a title fight."
To return to the image of Matt Brown, family man, just out cutting his grass on a Sunday afternoon after delivering a Fight of the Year candidate. Brown said his family did not treat him any different after his win over Silva in Cincinnati. Even if they had, there's a good chance that Brown would have thanked them for the praise and then went about his chores. "I lost four out of five a few years ago, so I know what it's like to be at the rock bottom in the UFC," said Brown. "So, I know who was there for me when I was down, I know what that life feels like. All this, I take it in stride and maintain my humility throughout, and I'm not going to let it get to my head."
With seven wins since that streak and four Fight Night bonuses in his last three fights, those rock bottom days seem to be in the past for Brown, but the memory of those moments are driving him to the top of the 170 pound division.