Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown currently finds himself in a position he has not been in for many years.
He is coming off his first loss since December 2005 when Masakazu Imanari submitted him in Japan when he was fighting for the DEEP organization.
Since the loss to Imanari he had run his streak of consecutive victories to ten, including four straight since he joined the WEC.
That was until he ran into the Brazilian upstart Jose Aldo, who promptly ripped Brown's featherweight championship belt away from him with a dominating performance at WEC 44 this past November.
The 34-year-old Brown, anxious to return to his winning ways and start his march back to the 145-pound pinnacle, accepted a fight with WEC newcomer Anthony Morrison. The two will square off on the main card at WEC 46 at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, CA. The event will be held this Sunday, January 10.
Brown took some time out of his busy fight week schedule to discuss Morrison, how he would approach Aldo differently next time and why he re-signed with the WEC.
Check it out:
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You are coming off a loss to Jose Aldo. In hindsight, what went wrong and how would you approach him differently the next time?
Mike Brown: It just wasn't my night. It's not an easy fight for anybody. You've got to be 100% on and I wasn't. Looking back I think I would probably come out and be more aggressive and not pace as much. Nothing I'd really try too much differently.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): What impressed you the most about his skill set once you finally got in the cage with him?
Mike Brown: No, he wasn't any quicker than I thought. He's just tough man. He has good takedown defense, he's well-rounded, he's a really good athlete, and he has a lot of weapons. There was nothing I was really super shocked at. I knew he was good going in. It was his night. That is the game.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You're fighting WEC newcomer Anthony Morrison next. You fought roughly two months ago, which is a fairly short amount time in between fights. Did you feel like coming off the loss you wanted to get right back on that horse?
Mike Brown: Absolutely, I am always like that. If I had won I would have taken more time off, but when I lose I can't enjoy myself. After a win I can relax and enjoy myself a little bit. After a loss it is not the time to celebrate and enjoy yourself. I wanted to get back in there and train hard and win.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): I've actually never seen Anthony Morrison fight before. How would you describe his style and overall skill set to me?
Mike Brown: I would say he's really explosive. He's got good punching power and solid wrestling.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Have you been able to dig any tape up on this guy?
Mike Brown: Oh yeah, I've seen a lot on YouTube. I actually saw him fight down in Miami. I saw him fight in the Shine show. I've seen him. He's pretty tough. He's good. He's coming off a big win. He just knocked out Alvin Robinson in like 40 seconds. That's a big win for him.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): How many wins do you feel like you need to get back to #1 contender status?
Mike Brown: I don't know. I don't worry about that. I'm just concerned with this fight, but honestly, I think one fight. I think I am the #1 contender. In my heart I believe Aldo is #1 and I am #2.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): It is obvious you are confident that you could defeat Aldo if given a second chance, but do you see anyone else in the division capable of defeating him?
Mike Brown: Yes, there are guys that can. It's the fight game. Everybody can lose. If he fights long enough he will lose, but he is very good. I mean, Rafael Assuncao and Urijah Faber. The winner of that could get a title shot but I believe I am right there. I don't think I dropped dramatically. I lost to a good guy.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): You have told me previously that you would be willing to fight guys in other weight classes in the WEC. Is that still an option or are you dead set on getting your 145-pound belt back as soon as possible?
Mike Brown: I have to get back to the drawing board in my weight class before I worry about other guys now. I'm willing to take big fights though. All I want are fights that people care about. I want fights that people are interested in. First I want to get a win. I need to win this fight and that is all that matters. After that we'll start looking around for more fights but I have a lot on my plate right now.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): How many fights left on your current contract if you don't mind me asking?
Mike Brown: I just re-signed for five fights.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Okay, that is good to hear. You should have plenty of time and opportunities to get your belt back then.
Mike Brown: This is where I want to be. I want to be where the best guys are at. This is where all the best 145'ers are at. I'm 34. There is no time for me to play around anywhere else. It's my time to fight the best guys in the world.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Before we go are there any sponsors you would like to thank?
Mike Brown: Yes, please. I want to thank Tapout, Champion Nutrition, and Bushmaster's Firearms. Also check out MikeThomasBrown.com.
Derek Bolender (MMAmania.com): Great, we appreciate the time Mike. Best of luck in a few days and we'll do it again soon.
Mike Brown: Thank you so much.
Derek Bolender is a contributor to MMAmania.com in addition to FoxSports.com, SI.com, and BleacherReport.com Follow him at Twitter.com/DerekMMAwriter.