One of the best stories in the UFC over the last two years, and certainly in 2013, has to be that of Matt “The Immortal” Brown.
Beginning in February of 2012, Brown has strung together a six fight winning streak and through it, Matt has all but decimated his opponents; five T/KOs’ & one submission. Further and more importantly, the Immortal has turned around a floundering career. Prior to the streak, Brown was 5 & 5 in the promotion and 1 & 4 over latter part of his first ten. In short, Brown may very well have been on the cusp of being cut.
However, it was not to be and over the last 24 months Brown has turned on the wins and in doing so, has made himself known to the fans, gotten himself ranked on the welterweight top-ten list (number eight) and has had his name thrown into the title mix conversation. In short, he’s had a heck of a run over the last two years.
Sadly though and just as Matt was poised to climb the rest of the 170 pound mountain, he was forced out of the biggest fight of his career.
This past September and post his first round flash KO of Mike Pyle in August, the clamour from fans to see Brown given a serious top-ten fighter came true. In mid-September the UFC announced that Brown would be given a fight with former interim champ Carlos Condit, with the winner of the bout likely getting the winner of last November’s UFC 167 Georges St. Pierre / Johny Hendricks title match.
However, this turned out not to be the case.
A week before the scheduled December 14th match at UFC on FOX 9, Brown was a scratch for the event. As it would turn out, Matt tore two discs in his lower back while training for the fight and as such, missed out on a huge opportunity to make his mark on a division that’s in tremendous flux.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the nature of his injury and the possibility of him having to undergo surgery on his back to repair the problem, left many fans wondering when or even if, the Immortal would ever make it back to the Octagon.
Yesterday, however, fans got the happy news that all may not be so bad with Matt and that indeed, he may soon be back chasing the welterweight belt.
In speaking with MMAFighting.com, Collen Brown, Matt's wife, has reported that Matt’s doctors have informed him that he will not need surgery, and that physical therapy will be enough to heal his injury. Further, Collen has stated that Matt should be back to training as early as next month and that beyond that, Matt is expected to make his return to the Octagon by either late spring or early summer.
In terms of the time frame, Collen stated that "If it's up to him, it'll be sooner. He's very restless; can't wait to get back in there."
For Matt’s fans this is great news. It was a true disappointment that he was a scratch for his fight with Condit, as all wanted to see it. Matt has become a fan favorite and people want to see if he can ride his fight streak all the way to a championship bout. He has the skills, toughness, chin and killer instinct to be a tough match for any in the UFC’s 170 class and his humble, working class ethic is only to win him more fans, with each showing and or win. Like Diego Sanchez, Matt Brown is one of those fighters that fans love, because he shows up and brings it; win or lose. As such, fans will be looking forward with great anticipation for Matt’s 2014 return date.
Outside / Inside photo courtesy of Cageofbones.com