(“I’m healthy, I’m motivated, and there’s no way Phan is training as hard as I am.”)
Two years ago, Mike Brown was on the top of the world — an undisputed featherweight champion who could boast that he beat Urijah Faber twice. But after knockout losses to Jose Aldo and Manny Gamburyan, and a heartbreaking stretch earlier this year in which he dropped decisions to Diego Nunes and Rani Yahya in the same month, he’s now just fighting to stay relevant.
The UFC confirmed yesterday that Brown’s next match will be against TUF 12 vet Nam Phan at UFC 133 (August 6th, Philadelphia). Phan is coming off his very controversial split-decision loss to Leonard Garcia in December, after which he coined the phrase “Asian brother can’t get no love.” The body-shot specialist was slated to return to action in a rematch with Garcia at UFC Fight Night 24, but had to withdraw from the bout due to a broken foot; Chan Sung Jung stepped in and took care of business.
Brown has also been recovering from an injury this year; during the Yahya fight, he tore a ligament in his left hand that required surgery. Anyway, it’s an end-of-the-road type fight for Brown, who might be booted from the organization if he loses to a TUF semi-finalist. Meanwhile, Phan has the opportunity to make his name off a former champion — as long as he can keep it out of the judges’ hands.