The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight roster currently boasts a bevy of talented fighters who are all inching their way closer and closer to a world title, which is currently in the tight grasp of division kingpin, Junior Dos Santos.
Long time staples Cain Velasquez and Alistair Overeem currently sit at the top of the number one contenders list, while Fabricio Werdum and Stefan Struve -- who extended his win streak to four in a row this past weekend (Sept. 29, 2012) by knocking out Stipe Miocic in the second round at UFC on FUEL TV 5 in Nottingham, England -- are climbing the ranks of the highly competitve division.
And let's not forget about Daniel Cormier, who will eventually take his talents to the Octagon once his final Strikeforce bout is fulfilled. Mark Hunt is also an interesting darkhorse, experiencing somewhat of a career renaissance, so-to-speak, reeling of three straight wins after suffering six consecutive losses.
Perhaps the forgotten man in the division is the undefeated (13-0-1) Travis Browne, who currently enjoys a four-fight win streak inside the Octagon. Not one to talk himself up, "Hapa" tells MMA Weekly he doesn't mind flying under the radar and feels the best way to can express himself is through his fighting, rather than his words:
"I'm a firm believer in that, once you start putting in your time and once you start developing into the fighter you need to develop into, other people do the talking for you. That's one thing I guess in a sense I'm kind of prideful cause I don't like to talk about myself. I want to put on such a good performance that other people talk for me and that my reputation is built on what I did and not what I said."
Talking up a storm has worked in the past for other fighters, who have proven that self-promotion is a good way to get their names out there and noticed. Not Browne, who says that his performances will eventually earn him a shot at the title and leaves it all up to the powers that be at Zuffa:
"You know Joe Silva and Dana White, the reason the UFC's where it's at is because of those guys and the matches they've made in the past. I put my trust in them, that's kind of something you do when you sign up with the UFC, and it's worked for me. They've put me in a position to succeed and I've just taken advantage of the time that they've given me. I don't mind flying under the radar. I let my performances speak for themselves and that's something that I'm going to do whether I'm a champion, whether I'm not a champion, or where I'm at in the division. I want to be as good as I can be for every fight I get and eventually my title shot will come."
Browne will headline this Friday's (Oct. 5, 2012) UFC on FX 5 event opposite Antonio Silva in a clash of heavy-handed big men. Both will be heading to the cage with the same goal, obtaining a victory, but for different reasons.
"Bigfoot" looks to avoid his third straight loss (second in the UFC) as he attempts to pick up his first win since shocking the mixed martial arts (MMA) world by defeating Fedor Emelianenko in early 2011, in hopes of avoiding the dreaded pink slip..
Browne, on the other hand, will look to keep his momentum going and make it five wins in a row with the UFC, raising his stock in the talent rich division. Though you can't expect much trash-talking leading up to the fight, you can definitely expect one hell of a fight when these two heavyweights swing very heavy leather in Minnesota.
Who will come out on top?