From main event, to preliminary card headliner, it does not matter where Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Matt Brown competes.
The 34-year-old slugger, ranked No. 5 at 170 pounds, is set to square off with red-hot striker Tim Means at UFC 189 in a "Prelims" match up that is sure to please the fans. Brown was previously linked to a showdown with Stockton slugger and former lightweight title challenger Nate Diaz in April, though it never came to light.
"The Immortal" believes it was in the best interest of Diaz not to take the fight.
"I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't sure he was going to take it. He's a 155-er; I think he should stay at 155," Brown told MMAFighting. "I've got a lot of respect for both of the Diaz's so I'm happy he didn't take it. I'd only want to fight him because I want that bloodbath that Nate would probably have."
He admitted that a fight against Diaz would have been "a much bigger fight." However, Brown says he has "Tim Means to worry about now."
Brown is pitted against "The Dirty Bird" in the FOX Sports 1 "Prelims" headliner and though he is an unranked name, he still welcomes the opportunity to be the favorite and to test his skill set against that of the streaking Means.
"It's an interesting position to be in because I've been in that position a few times where that next guy is the biggest guy and now I'm on the opposite side," Brown said. "I think it's a great match up. The guy loves to throw elbows and knees. He's coming right into my world."
There will be desperation in the air on the part of Brown when he meets Means on Sat. night (July 11, 2015). He, unlike his opponent, is on a two-fight losing skid, having come up short against the last two men to hold the 170-pound strap, Robbie Lawler and Johny Hendricks.
"I think my mind is in a better place than it's ever been," Brown remarked. "After the Hendricks fight, in retrospect, I had to stop and say 'What's going wrong here?' I reached from what I feel like I got from 0 to 90 and now getting 90 to 10 has been a much more difficult process.
I had to step back and say 'What do I have to do to get to that next level? What do I have to do to get from No. 5 in the world to become champion?'"
Brown is treating his upcoming bout as if it was his first UFC fight. It is befitting that the analogy happens as he makes his return to MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada; a location he has not fought in since he lost via submission to Chris Lytle at UFC 116 back in July 2010.
His renewed focus and dedication to the sport meant changing his current training and personal situation.
"I want to start a completely new path. I've changed my personal life and my training life. I've basically done a purge. I've got rid of everything basically and rebuilt everything," said Brown. "It sounds kind of irrelevant and pointless, like I've sold all of my guns. I have one for self defense. I sold my Jeep. I drive a crappy car now. I've just gotten rid of all these things that were kind of meaningless in my life."
Both Brown and Means are incredibly durable, tough outs for any fighter. Each needs the "W" badly on Saturday night in different ways. Just don't ask Brown to hang his head if he does not get his hand raised inside the Octagon.
"What it boils down to is I can walk out of this fight Saturday night, and it doesn't matter if I win or lose, I've made improvements in my life and I'm a happier person. I'm in a better place than when I started this camp," Brown said.
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