Brown Not Worried About Release Ahead of Phan Bout

By Sherdog.com Staff Aug 3, 2011
Mike Thomas Brown has gone from the top of the featherweight division to staring down the possibility of a third straight loss.

Heading into his UFC 133 matchup Saturday against Nam Phan, though, he sounds like a fighter who has already stopped his fall.

“It was rough,” Brown (Pictured) said during a “Savage Dog Show” interview on the Sherdog Radio Network. “I think it was 14 months where it all came crashing down. I was busy. In 14 months I fought six times, which is a lot at a world-class level. I lost four of them. I had one [loss] in like five years or something. I was doing well and then I hit this patch.”

It started in November 2009 when he lost his WEC title to Jose Aldo. He bounced back with a win over Anthony Morrison but then got knocked out by Manny Gamburyan in April 2010. He came back with another win before dropping two fights in one month to start off 2011.

“The first two [losses] were for different reasons,” Brown said. “I think Aldo was just -- man, he was a step ahead of me on everything and kind of picked me apart, beat me up. With Manny, I think I got caught. With those two, it was hard to tie them together completely. Then the other two, I was trying to look at what was going on and figure out what the problem was. Since then I’ve made a ton of changes in my training and my camp. I think it’s going to work out.”

One change Brown has made is less sparring in favor of more strength and conditioning. He had been sparring “all the time,” which had its benefits but also wore down his body. Now he’s feeling stronger and healthier, and he’s also had plenty of time to do his homework on Phan.

“I have a good understanding of what his game is,” Brown said. “All of his fights seem pretty similar. He doesn’t change a lot. He’s gotten better over the years at what he does do, but it looks like always the same game plan. He comes forward a lot. Nice jab, right hand, left hook to the body or the head. Solid jiu-jitsu. Definitely a tough guy, a tough opponent.”

Phan is capable of handing Brown his third straight loss, a mark that often leads to a release from the UFC. Brown said he doesn’t feel any pressure, however.

“I don’t even feel it. It’s like, if it happens, it happens,” he said. “I want to win the fight so bad regardless of that. Every fight, I think nothing else besides winning. I’m crushed every time that I lose no matter what. … Nothing else matters except getting in there and putting the pedal to the floor and trying to get the guy out of there as quick as you can, try to hurt him before he hurts you. Everything else, to me, is just small potatoes. Just background noise.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:38:05).

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