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When Damien Brown was released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he knew he wanted to go to Japan and fight in Rizin Fighting Federation. That is exactly what he did as he made his debut at Rizin 14 against Daron Cruickshank and got a submission win. The lightweight followed that up by taking on Koji Takeda at Rizin 15, who he beat by unanimous decision.
After Brown’s latest win, his contract with the Japanese based promotion was up. Although he is now a free agent, “Beatdown” still wants to stay with the Japanese promotion. However, he’s interested in talking to other organizations, specifically Bellator MMA.
“I had a two-fight deal,” explained Brown to Sherdog.com. “So, I’m not under contract right now but they have expressed their interest in extending my contract, so we will see what happens. I would probably talk to Bellator, but I like Japan and the trip is really easy. It is a nine-hour flight, but it is almost the same time zone, so it is a really easy fight. I go there really late in fight week which suits me as I have a gym now and a family. I coach all week and fly out last minute. Just Japan, in general, is a really nice country and the fans and the promotion treats me really well.”
If Brown does indeed re-sign with Rizin, he already has several opponents in mind. “I have always asked to fight Takanori Gomi,” said the lightweight. “It isn’t a disrespect thing, it’s more of an honor, martial arts respect thing. He deserves all the credit in the world and I would like to be one of the people to fight him. Would be an honor to share the ring with him. He was a stud. I have a couple of people call me out. Will Brooks wants to fight, he said that he had the time and wanted to fight at Rizin 16 in like five six-weeks so that is a pretty quick turnaround to get a contract and get a bout agreement in the same time.”
Someone else who called him out was Jason Knight, who is coming off of a bare-knuckle loss to Artem Lobov. However, there are some concerns with that fight, as “Beatdown” doesn’t have any interest in bare knuckle and isn’t sure if Knight will fight in Japan.
“I’ve had interest in fighting Jason Knight for like three years,” Brown said. “Initially, when I was released by the UFC we talked to Bare Knuckle FC to try and make something happen, but now I don’t have any interest. I couldn’t imagine Bare Knuckle FC paying me what I get paid in Rizin to fight with gloves on. I don’t see the point in me doing it. I asked to fight Jason Knight in the UFC, but it never happened. When he got released he basically called me out and said look, I’m a free agent, I’ll fight you anywhere you want. If Rizin signs him that is a fight I want. My fighting style then with someone else on the front foot it will be a super exciting fight. If it happens, it happens.”
Ultimately, the 34-year-old hopes to have a new contract soon and if it is with Rizin would like to fight at Rizin 16. The Australian wants to fight as often as he can and show the world just how good he is.
“When I finished my fight, I sat down with the matchmaker the next day, and I said I wanted to fight on Rizin 16,” said Brown. “I had a rough two years, lost a couple of fights in the UFC, two of those were very close split-decisions. I went like two-and-half years with just two or three fights which sucked. There isn’t enough money to only fight twice a year. I coach full-time, so I train during the day, coach in the morning and night. I’m always ready. Rizin 16 is what I want.”
Ultimately, Brown is still weighing his options but hopes to have a decision and a contract signed very soon.