Matt Brown is calling it a career following his next bout.
The MMA (mixed martial arts) veteran announced last week that he will retire after his upcoming bout with Diego Sanchez on Nov. 11 at UFC Norfolk. Brown recently spoke with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour to open up on his decision to retire from the sport.
According to Brown, his retirement thoughts came about prior to his fight against Donald Cerrone last December, which was his most recent bout.
“Maybe that wasn’t necessarily when I first felt it, but that was when I came to the realization that it’s something I should start really thinking about,” Brown said. “Because when I was sitting in the locker room, it literally crossed my mind to not even walk out. I thought about just walking outside, getting an Uber, going back to the hotel and just being done with it. It wasn’t out of fear, it wasn’t out of nerves, it was just no excitement. I was kind of tired, a little bored. And just like, ‘Man, I don’t know if I feel like doing this right now.’
“I didn’t get into this to be a journeyman, or to be in second place, I came into this to be a champion and I got very, very close to that, I think I was one round away from beating Robbie Lawler and getting to a title shot. Being that I got that close, right now, I don’t feel like I have that hunger inside my heart that’s going to get me back to that point and that’s not to say I won’t ever come back one day. I don’t plan on pulling out of the USADA testing pool and I don’t plan on canceling my UFC contract because I’d like to keep that just in case there. But I’m not going to come back unless I plan on making a run for the title.”
As seen in the fight against Cerrone, Brown suffered a KO loss after getting hit by a nasty head kick in the third round. This marked the the first time that Brown had ever been knocked unconscious like that.
It also was the second consecutive time he’d been finished with strikes following a TKO loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 201.
“Absolutely, I got knocked out for the first time in my life in my last fight,” Brown said. “Got knocked down for the first time in my life before that. I have to wonder if – you know, I had a concussion last year for the first time. All these first time things start happening 40 fights into my career, as a father and a family to go home to, when I’m slurring words to my kids, you start thinking, ‘How much is it worth all this?’ So that definitely plays a part, but it’s not necessarily my primary concern though. It’s not my primary motivation to retire, but it is a piece of the puzzle for sure.”
Brown is happy that he is facing the always game Sanchez and that it will be in Norfolk, Va. It’s a highly anticipated bout due to Sanchez having a reputation for wild scraps. Brown wants to put on an entertaining show for a crowd.
As a result of the UFC announcing the bout along with its location, Browne figured that he should let everyone know ahead of time that this will be his last bout.
“Part of it was I just kind of had to commit to it,” Brown said. “What I’m afraid would happen is I would end up having a great camp, which right now I’m having probably one of the greatest camps I ever had, and then I’d get in there and feel amazing and I’d be like, ‘You know what? I’m not going to retire.’ And then a couple of weeks later be like, ‘Ah man, I don’t know, I want to retire.’ I don’t want to go through that whole up and down, that rollercoaster, I don’t want to put my family through all that.
“The second part is that I want everybody to come out, my family and everybody to know that it’s going to be my last one and they can get their tickets and everything and they can come out. Norfolk is coincidentally right in between my wife’s family and my family. My family is in Ohio, her family is in Massachusetts, it’s right there in the middle. I have a lot of family in North Carolina and Virginia Beach also, so it kind of works for everybody to kind of meet right there. And again, I think Diego makes a perfect retirement fight. I think we’re going to go out there and we’re going to have a great war and it’s going to be an amazing fight.”