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UFC Welterweight Matt Brown Talks About the Chaos in Curitiba, Brazil

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Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC

Maybe you read yesterday’s chronology of UFC welterweight Matt Brown’s trip to Brazil for UFC 198—a chain of events that included flipping off his audience at the weigh-ins, fending off sucker punches during his walkout, getting choked by jiu jitsu ace Demian Maia, and getting sneaked in the hotel by his old coach. It sounded, generally, like an awful time. Then we caught up with Brown. To hear him tell it, even when crowds shouted for his death and took swipes at him, being in hostile territory wasn’t so bad.

Fightland: This was your first time fighting in Brazil, and Brazilian crowds have cultivated a reputation for being belligerent to outsiders coming to fight Brazilians. After you were booked against Demian Maia, were you bracing for people telling you that you were going to die?
Matt Brown: Yeah, of course I expected it. And I embraced it. I knew this was stylistically a bad match-up for me, and the fact that it was in Brazil just made the challenge a little larger, a little tougher. Instead of taking it negatively, I turned it into a positive—”let’s go enjoy this and embrace it and make it fuel my training and my mind.” I think I did that. It just simply wasn’t enough to win the fight.

Do you prefer to have outside adversity when you’re fighting?
I think every fight is its own entity—you can find good, bad, positive, and negative in any fight, and you can turn it, twist it, manipulate it the way you want to. Something I think I’m good at doing is taking something that, no matter what the situation is, turning it into a positive for me.

What day did you arrive in Brazil?

Leading up to the weigh-in, between Sunday and Friday, was everything cool ….View full article