Travis Browne is quickly rising the ranks of the UFC heavyweight division, and he’ll look to take another step Aug. 4 against Ben Rothwell at UFC on Fox 4.
Ahead of the matchup, Browne joined the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Jordan Breen Show” to discuss training with Jon Jones, epiphanies and more.
On the turning points in his career: “There were two fights in my career that really stand out to me and made me realize what I have to do. The first one was Cheick Kongo. That one, it really opened up my eyes and showed me that, Trav, you’re not the biggest and baddest around. There’s other guys that can take your punches, that can take your power and your size and your athletic ability. You need to turn it on and become more skillful.
“And then there’s the Rob Broughton fight. That one right there showed me that I have to be on my game 24/7, 365. The reason being, a guy that, in my mind, and no disrespect to Rob Broughton -- a lot of people could take this very disrespectfully, but I don’t feel like he should have been able to stay in that cage for longer than five minutes with me, and he went three five-minute rounds with me. To me, I let myself down. I let my kids down. I let my family and my friends down and the fans because this is what I choose to do. … I choose to do this. I’m going to be the best that I can be.”
On his goal in MMA: “I want to be the best fighter I can be. I don’t care if I win the championship. I don’t care if I wear that belt. What I want to do is, I want to be the best fighter. When I become the best fighter, everything else will come. Fame, money, all that kind of stuff that really only lasts a short amount of time, all that stuff, that will be there. That will come and it will go, but me being the best fighter that I can be will be there with me for the rest of my life.”
On training with Jon Jones: “It’s a blessing. There’s times that, say, he’s sparring and I’m sitting on the outside waiting for my turn and I just like to watch him. I like to watch great fighters and see where their confidence comes from. Maybe things that work for them may end up working for me as well. Being in the same camp as a guy like Jon Jones and watching him perform in the cage on a daily basis, it does nothing but help me. … What he brings to the table, the way I look at it, is to open your mind. Accept whatever you can do and put it to use.
“Whoever thought a 6-foot-7, 250-pounder was going to do a flying double knee to Chad Griggs in that fight? That’s the last thing anybody would think. But I pulled it off and I pulled it off perfectly. It’s because I had an open mind during my entire camp. What can I do that will surprise somebody? What’s going to make me unpredictable? What’s going to put me at the next level? What’s going to separate me from the rest of the heavyweights? Being with Jon Jones has helped me do that.”
On Rothwell: “I expect Ben Rothwell to be the best Ben Rothwell that we’ve seen. I think that guy has also fallen in love with training, in love with the sport, and has found his motivation. Over the last six, seven months, I found my motivation. I found what I need to do and why I need to do it, and I believe he’s done the same. It showed in his last fight against Brendan Schaub. He’d put in some hard work, but I believe that come August 4, UFC on Fox 4, that me and him are going to be the best fighters that you’ve seen out of us. We’re going to go at it. It’s going to be a great fight. … He’s made some statements, some big statements. It is what it is. I believe that, honestly, I will come out on top and I will show people what it means to be a true heavyweight.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 28:55).