LAS VEGAS -- Fans may have had to dart to fight databases to figure out who his next opponent was, but Mike Thomas Brown was already familiar with Anthony Morrison, whom the WEC announced Saturday as his next opponent.
“I knew who he was because I was there when he fought Micah Miller,” Brown said of the September fight involving his American Top Team training partner. “I met the kid, he’s a cool kid. They announced him and they called him, ‘Cheesecake,’ Anthony ‘Cheesecake’ Morrison. And he got all pissed. He goes, ‘No man, it’s Cheese Steak. Cheese steak.’ That was his nickname.”
Morrison (10-7) lost to Miller via arm triangle that night, but bounced back with a pair of wins, including an impressive 169-second deconstruction of UFC veteran Alvin Robinson on Dec. 4. Brown will face Morrison at WEC 46 on Jan. 10 in Sacramento, Calif.
“Morrison is just a guy who they put in front of me,” Brown said. “He’s got some big wins he’s coming off, he’s tough; he hits hard. It should be an exciting fight.”
The Philadelphia-based Morrison is a teammate of Amir Sadollah’s out of Team Combat in Richmond, Virginia, and cut his teeth largely on the East Coast circuit since his pro debut in 2006.
The fight is a two-month turnaround for Brown, who said he was contacting WEC officials seeking another fight almost immediately after his shutout loss to Jose Aldo at WEC 44 on Nov. 18.
“Whenever I lose I’m amped to get in there as soon as possible to get it behind me,” he said. “I’ve always been like that. When I win, I don’t mind taking a little time off and enjoying it.”
The Brown-Morrison bout will be the fifth on the WEC 45 main card, one more than is traditional for WEC events. Versus has allotted the show extra time to allow all of five fights to air. The event is headlined by Jamie Varner vs. Benson Henderson for the unified lightweight title and Urijah Faber vs. Raphael Assuncao.
Several weeks removed from the loss of the WEC featherweight title, Brown revealed that he wasn’t in peak physical form going into the fight with Jose Aldo, who was able to shrug off his vaunted takedowns, take his back and pound him out for the first round TKO.
“It wasn’t me that night, it wasn’t me out there, I didn’t want to fight that night,” Brown said. “I just got 18 stitches above my eye six days before the fight. I was training with Thiago Alves and I got kneed in the face. I saw a plastic surgeon and he gave me 18 (dissolvable stitches) above my eye. I went in to fight because I needed to fight, for the money and you make a commitment to fight. I was nervous and tentative. I didn’t have that same aggressiveness. I was more like, ‘what the f--- am I doing here?’ That kind of mentality.”
Brown, who was on track to having a banner 2009 before the loss, hopes to flip the script on his WEC run against Morrison. Brown knows what he wants out of the fight, including the nickname he’d like ascribed to his opponent.
“I was actually thinking ‘Cheesecake’ was kind of cool,” Brown said. “I kind of liked the name ‘Cheesecake.’”