The moment you hit 40 years old in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), people are going to start questioning whether you need to retire sooner rather than later. So Matt Brown had a lot riding on his UFC Vegas 29 fight against Dhiego Lima, a man eight years his junior who Brown actually coached back on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) in 2013.
Fortunately, age turned out to not be a factor for Brown this night: “The Immortal” fought a bit more conservatively than he did years ago, but in a good, smart way. And he still landed a nasty faceplant knockout punch in the second round that earned him an extra $50,000 (watch that monster of a highlight here).
“How’s that for forty, b—ch?” Brown declared as he walked off from the knockout.
“I think a lot of people write me off because of my age,” he said at the post-fight press conference. “I knew the right hand would be available at some point. I didn’t expect it the way I did it, but I knew it would be available, just watching the tape. So we did work the right hand a lot.
“It did feel sweet,” he continued. “That one I didn’t even feel land, it reminded me of when I fought Diego Sanchez and he was out and I didn’t even know it had landed. I was like ‘Wait, is the fight over?’ I didn’t know where he went. I hit him and was like, ‘Where’s he at?’”
No matter how good Brown looked tonight, he’s still keeping it real regarding how much longer he has.
“I definitely don’t have a lot of fights left,” he said. “That’s a tough question right now, I have to think about that a little bit. When I go out there and fight like that, it’s like all the skills I’ve been developing over the past how many years in the UFC, it feels like they’re coming together better. And just, my performance, I was more calculated and smarter. I feel like I could do a lot of really big things. It’s more of just a matter of ... life. Life. Life gets in the way.”
“I think I’m in my prime now. I have the ability to fight and fight at a high level still for a long time. There’s just so many things going on in my life. That’s why I don’t fight as much as I used to, there’s just so many factors, mainly my kids getting older. I’m not going to bore you with all that shit though. We’ll do a full interview and talk about it.”
As for when he wanted to fight again?
“Tomorrow? I love fighting,” he said. “It’s just putting a camp together and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, that just takes more time. So that’s what kind of determines when I’m able to fight, not as much as my desire. Because my desire is there, I want to come in and do that to a lot of people what I did tonight.”
If he had his way, he’d like a chance to avenge one of his losses.
“That’s what I would like next: Cowboy [Cerrone], Demian [Maia] and Robbie [Lawler],” Brown said. “Those are the ones. I’m not the guy who’s, ‘I want a rematch I want a rematch,’ I had my 15 minutes and I didn’t get it done. I thought I won the Robbie fight personally, but I didn’t get it done.”
“And it’s not my place to go around begging for it, but if they’re happy to, I’d love for it to be Demian’s retirement match, I know he’s looking for a retirement match. I would love that, and out of respect for him because he’s a true legend. Just like when I fought him the first time, he’s the worst match up for me in the division and I like that challenge. I think I’m more up for it now than I was before.”
With Maia’s loss to Belal Muhammad being the last fight on his UFC contract, we’re not sure whether that’s a fight UFC can put together. It’s also not on the top of the list for us, either. Give us Donald Cerrone and/or Robbie Lawler please and thank you!
For complete UFC Vegas 29 results and coverage click here.