When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced Matt Brown vs. Bryan Barberena at UFC Columbus, we knew we were in for something special. Not only are Brown and Barberena both certified savages and alumni of “Swang N’ Bang University,” but Brown is an Ohio native from Cincinnati, just 90 minutes up the road from Nationwide Arena.
Strange thing, though: according to both Barberena and Brown, this fight didn’t come together easy. UFC matchmakers initially told Brown the card was full. It took both men calling for the fight on social media for it to finally come together ... and of course it was “Fight of the Night.” For many who watched it, it was an early “Fight of the Year” contender.
Now for something else kind of crazy: Barberena fought out the last fight on his UFC contract against Brown on last night (Sat., March 26, 2022). Now he’s in limbo, unsure on whether or not UFC is interested in re-signing him.
“I haven’t been open about that, but this was the last fight on my contract,” Barberena said during the post-fight press conference. “The UFC didn’t say anything about renegotiating. I tried to ask about it. Dana White, let’s talk. I’d love to keep fighting. I’d love to keep putting on shows. I don’t want to fight anywhere else. If this is it, you don’t want me no more, that’s okay, I’ll hang ‘em up here.
“I should have left my gloves in the Octagon if that’s the case,” he continued. “If not, I’d love to keep putting on shows.”
Whatever happens, we’re glad Barberena didn’t lay down his gloves in Columbus. He was booed mercilessly after judges handed him a split decision win over Ohio’s homestate boys, and that was bad enough for someone who’d just engaged in total war for 15 minutes. To then have it happen while retiring? That’d just be awful.
Here’s hoping UFC resigns Bryan — that’s certainly his wish.
“The UFC, that’s where I want to be,” he said. “It was the goal the whole time, I’m excited, I love being here, they treat me well. I love being in front of these fans, it’s the biggest organization out there, the best organization out there as far as I’m concerned. And you know what? If they don’t want me to come out and put on shows anymore I’ll hang ‘em up and I’ll go spend my daily at the farm with the family and work on building that.”
If the matchmakers are having a hard time figuring out who they’d match Barberena up against next, let him do the picking.
“Honestly, the next person I’d love to fight would be Robbie Lawler,” he said.
Sign us up for that.
For complete UFC Columbus: “Blaydes vs. Daukaus” results and play-by-play, click HERE.