Travis Browne is ready to take the next step.
While working his way up through the UFC's heavyweight division, "Hapa" has avoided defeat while gaining much-needed experience.
A recent permanent move to Greg Jackson's gym in Albuquerque has provided him with all the coaches and elite training partners that he can handle and the shift in physique and mentality inside the cage has been evident.
Check it out:
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How much convincing did it take from Michelle Waterson to get you and Jon Jones to don the ring card girl outfits for her Invicta promo video? You looked like you were having quite a bit of fun with it.
Travis Browne: It didn't take me and Jon any convincing to do it. We pretty much liberally participated in that and we were having a good time. We were in character and we did a good job and helped our teammate.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): Antonio Silva is a very tough opponent, but he's lost convincingly in his last two bouts. Do you feel any added pressure to live up to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez's performances against him to prove you belong with the best heavyweights?
Travis Browne: No, I don't feel like there's any added pressure. I don't fight anything like those guys. I'm not a wrestler. I have my own style. Styles make match ups and I expect a similar outcome but it's gonna be different. It's gonna be my style of fight.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): How much of a factor do you believe speed will be for you to have success in this fight?
Travis Browne: Speed is gonna have a big thing to do with me winning. Not only speed but my agility as well. I think if I cut corners and create angles, I'll open up great attacks. I think my speed and athleticism is going to help me win the bout.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): While you've looked amazing in your first round stoppages, the pace has definitely slowed in your fights that have gone the distance. What have you been doing in training to rectify that, especially considering this bout could potentially go five rounds?
Travis Browne: Over the last year I've really been focusing on my conditioning and being able to pace myself. I think in those other fights, I gave all I could in the first round. I wasn't picking my shots and that's where technique comes in. You save a lot more energy when you use technique over straight power.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): What do you think you'll have to accomplish in your career to make your sacrifices you've made (leaving home, not seeing your kids and family while training) worth it in the end?
Travis Browne: I feel like it'll all be worth it if I'm the best fighter that I can be. Belts, money, fame won't mean anything to me unless I feel like I'm the best fighter that I could have been.
Travis Browne: Nope, not really. When Chael said that, they asked if I was gonna fight for the title in 2012 and he said no but if he wants to say that again, I think it's a different picture now. Just last week he was singing my praises about how I'm the future of heavyweight and definitely an up-and-coming star in the UFC so I just think he thought I had some development to do and all I could do is agree.
Brian Hemminger (MMAmania.com): You mentioned that you'll impress everyone if you fight how you know you're capable of against Bigfoot. What do you think you're truly capable of at this point in your career?
Travis Browne: At this point in my career, I feel like I'm capable of putting on a show that's going to put all the other heavyweights on notice. They're going to see what I'm really capable of doing and they're going to have to start looking at me as a contender.
You can follow Travis on Twitter @TravisBrowneMMA.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Will Browne fulfill his own high expectations and take care of business tomorrow night? What do you think of his potential in the UFC's heavyweight division?
So what do you think, Maniacs?