How’s that for 40, bitch?
The words from Matt Brown just moments after he knocked Dhiego Lima into oblivion at UFC Vegas 29 summed things up quite nicely. Brown has been fighting in the UFC since 2008 that spans 28 fights, including a spot on The Ultimate Fighter season 7 that earned his position on the roster all of those years ago.
Fans of MMA generally have very short and fickle memories. You’re only as good as your last fight, recency bias is probably more prevalent in MMA than in any other sport. Even in a very close fight, it’s only the result that gets remembered, not what came before it or how close it was. It’s all about the wins and losses in terms of how the general fan base will tend to view things.
So when you’re a veteran of the sport, especially to the level that Matt Brown is, if you take a couple of losses in the latter stages of your career, people are quick to write you off and deem you over the hill. But after all of the wars, over all of these years, Brown showed up to UFC Vegas 29 and showed the world that age is just a number. Not only did he tie the record for most knockouts in UFC history, but he also did it looking as patient and composed as we’ve ever seen him.
— UFC (@ufc) June 19, 2021
Brown started the fight eating many impactful leg kicks from Lima, in the post-fight press conference, Brown admitted that one of the kicks landed so perfectly it sent a shock through his entire leg immediately getting his attention. But instead of lunging forward to kill in response to the damage like we’ve seen many times from him over the years. Brown remained patient and efficient on route to the devastating knockout.
He absorbed significant damage, but willingly did so knowing that his opportunity to land the kill shot would eventually be presenting itself. Brown revealed in the post-fight press conference that he put more thought into this fight than anything else that came before in his career. Instead of the kill or be killed mentality, he was strategic in his approach. It showed in the way he performed, and it certainly showed in the result.
Matt Brown!!! Give that 40 a $50G!!! @ufc
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) June 19, 2021
Despite the spectacular performance against a very dangerous fighter in Lima, Brown did say that he doesn’t have a lot of fights left. But at the same time, he truly believes he is only now entering his true prime. Brown is adamant about getting right back in there as soon as he can and tells the media that he still has a strong desire to compete. So what could hold back Brown at this point? Well, life, that’s what.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) June 19, 2021
After such an impressive win, and despite the fact that he feels as though he could get ready to go on another run. The reality is that he is a martial artist first, and a fighter second. Brown acknowledges the window to be a fighter is short, but being a martial artist is forever. With his latest victory, Brown demonstrated that he is much more than a tactical brawler, he showed that he is a martial artist through and through. After this long in the sport, he is still learning and still improving his game, and still very capable of competing at a high level for years to come.
Whether or not he chooses to go for a few more years, or look to wind down his career over the next couple of fights. Matt Brown has earned his place in the history books as one of the great welterweights of mixed martial arts. Having an absolutely incredible career. not only by achieving longevity in the sport, but by setting a great example for the generations to come.