Just two days before taking center stage at WEC 44: "Brown vs. Aldo," WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown broke down his upcoming fight as the featured guest on MMAmania.com’s exclusive presentation of Pro MMA Radio.
WEC 44 features a main event featherweight title bout between Brown and feared Brazilian striker Jose Aldo. They face off tonight at the Pearl at the Palms in Las Vegas, Nevada, airing on the Versus Network, for those of you who still get it.
"He’s really good, obviously," Brown said of his opponent. "He’s a black belt in jiu-jitsu, but mostly we’ve seen his striking, so I’m guessing his striking is better than his jiu-jitsu, even though he’s a black belt. He’s very quick, he’s very fast, good knees, good kicks. He’s a world-class guy."
The bout would be the third title defense for Brown, should he beat Aldo, who despite the black belt boasts 10 of 15 wins by (T)KO with just two submissions. Brown, who trains at American Top Team (ATT) — known to be BJJ-heavy — doesn’t show concern.
"High-level jiu-jitsu doesn’t really bother me or concern me. I train with the best jiu-jitsu guys in the world, so that’s no problem for me."
If nothing else, this fight presents a new challenge for Brown, who in some fans eyes still can’t seem to escape the shadow of the man he took the title from — and then successfully defended his title against — Urijah Faber. Host Larry Pepe asked Brown how he feels about his critics who insist that, had the former champion not broken his hands during the fight, things would have been different.
"I think it’s ridiculous. Maybe if he didn’t break his hand he would have stood in front of me and banged it out a little bit. I hit hard — then he really woulda went down." Brown, who says he knew by the third round that Faber had injured his hand, but wasn’t sure which one, accuses "The California Kid" of playing up his hand injury and talking about it every chance he gets. Instead, perhaps Faber should take a page from one of Brown’s teammates at ATT.
"Denis Kang’s broken his hand multiple times, Thiago Alves, JZ Cavalcante, Benji Radach, and most of those guys more than once — they all have steel plates in their hands. But never once do you ever even hear about it. They just get their surgery and you wouldn’t even know."
He goes on, "Just the way that it was all talked about so much baffles my mind. Look at Fedor. Did it affect the outcome because he damaged his hand smashing up Rogers? No, it didn’t affect anything."
Brown also had a few words to say (all good) about another celebrity fighter and ATT teammate, Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson, who Brown says he sees at the gym "every day." "He’s coming along, no doubt."
When he was first exposed to the legend of Kimbo Slice through his YouTube videos, Brown felt "100% positive" that Kimbo had trained at a boxing gym. So he asked him about it. "No, no, no, never before," Kimbo said, as Brown tells it. "Just slap-fighting with my friends."
Brown went on to talk about the misconception of Kimbo Slice, and how Elite XC had portrayed him to be some street thug. But he’s far from it.
"He’s humble as they get. He trains hard, he works very hard. I’ve never seen somebody so humble who’s so famous. Everyone (around him) talks smack so much, and he’s never said anything bad about anybody. He’s really pretty amazing."
Brown also sheds light on the myth that Kimbo once threatened with a handgun a training partner who had armbarred him. "I was there, and that shit didn’t go down."
Brown also spends time on the show taking people through a typical fight day, from staying up late the night before so he can sleep in, to the thoughts going through his head when he enters the cage.
To check out the complete interview, as well as the entire Pro MMA Radio archive with host Larry Pepe click here.