Mike Brown entered his WEC 39 title bout with Leonard Garcia wearing his WEC featherweight belt comfortably around his waist. Just minutes later, Brown exited the octagon without having to hand over the gold around his waist, successfully defending his belt from the challenger.
This victory extended Brown’s win streak to a total of nine straight, along with giving him his first successful title defense after taking the belt from Urijah Faber just three WEC events prior.
Brown seems to have found his place in MMA through his domination of both Garcia and Faber, climbing to the top of the featherweight division. However, when Brown looks down the ladder of featherweight greats, he undoubtedly sees Urijah Faber just below him.
These two sharks have destroyed the competition populating the featherweight ocean, until now only the two of them remain. With revenge on his mind, Faber seeks to dethrone the featherweight king, while Brown seeks to remind Faber just how hard his fist is.
After their first bout, critics and doubters of Brown were still not sold, seeing the first round stoppage as a fluke. This rematch gives Brown the opportunity to prove something that many feel he has not; that he is the best featherweight in the WEC, if not in all of MMA.
For those who are unaware of the first meeting between these two 145 pound giants, Faber found himself with his back to Brown. Faber attempted to regain his composure by spinning around with his razor-sharp elbow locked and loaded. Unfortunately for him, Brown beat him to the punch, knocking Faber to the mat. A flurry of punches and a referee stoppage ensued, causing an end to the fight in the very first round.
Brown was happy with the early victory against Faber. However, he realizes their second meeting may last a little longer than their first.
“I anticipate it being a long battle. He’s a world class fighter, and so am I,” stated Brown when asked about his upcoming fight. “You never know. You might get out early, or you might go the whole five rounds and go the distance.”
Whether the fight does in fact last five rounds, or is a over as quick as the first, you can be sure Brown is doing everything necessary to be prepared.
After joining American Top Team five years ago, Brown has climbed the ranks in MMA. However, according to him, all of his success can be linked back to his time at one of the elite camps in mixed martial arts.
Giving credit to the elite facility, Brown stated,” Without ATT, I wouldn’t be where I am today without a doubt. I mean, it’s a lot of people that helped me through my career, to get me where I’m at.”
Brown has certainly come along way through his time at American Top Team. But of course with an elite camp such as ATT come other stellar stars in the world of MMA.
Only two months after Brown’s second battle with “The California Kid”, his teammate at ATT, Thiago Alves, will be given the opportunity to obtain his own belt when he goes up against UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre.
The confidence that circulates through ATT is seemingly never ending. The exuding confidence continues with Brown’s thoughts on his teammate’s chances against St. Pierre.
“I think he’s got great chances. He’s an animal in the gym, nobody can take the guy down, and he’s got the best striking in the weight class. Man, he is tough to beat. He is tough to beat. GSP is a great fighter, but I think “Pitbull” has the edge,” explained Brown.
With his teammate raging through the welterweight division of the UFC, one can only wonder if Brown is thinking about taking the dive into the UFC Lightweight division once again.
Brown’s tenure with the UFC was short lived to say the least. However, a second is not ruled out for the featherweight phenom.
While Brown’s low weight would be an issue in another UFC run, he explains that he is “ten times the fighter” he was during his time in the UFC.
Whether or not that option is a serious one for Brown remains unseen. With his destruction of fighter after fighter in the WEC featherweight division, perhaps that option is the farthest from his mind.
With future possibilities aside, Brown continues to prepare for his defense against Urijah “The California Kid” Faber, working to cement himself in the featherweight division.
Brown has become very relevant in “pound for pound” discussions, and, at this point, is undeniably the greatest featherweight alive.
Urijah Faber knows exactly what that position feels like, and definitely misses the feeling.
Seeking to switch his position with Brown, Faber brings his unorthodox style into the octagon on June 7th, 2009 at WEC 41. Mike Brown brings his well rounded game and his experience at American Top Team.
As far as Brown is concerned, that will be more than enough to silence the doubters, and solidify his hold on WEC featherweight gold.
Tags: American Top Team, Georges St. Pierre, Mike Brown, Mixed Martial Arts, Thiago Alves, Urijah Faber, WEC, WEC 41