Matt Brown is Not Happy About This UFC Situation

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When the UFC was acquired by new owners spearheaded by Frank and Lorenzo Ferttita in 2001, the organization hosted five events with 80 fights throughout the year. Fast-forward to the end of 2023, and the UFC had expanded to 43 events featuring 520 fights, including 21 title bouts from January to December.

This growth has led to an increase in the scale and breadth of events and the number of fighters signed to the roster. With Dana White’s Contender Series regularly adding numerous fighters each year, alongside reality shows like The Ultimate Fighter, and the necessity to bolster rosters for the plethora of events happening almost every week, the number of contracted athletes has swelled to over 650 in recent months.

UFC welterweight Matt Brown, who joined the roster in 2006, reminisces about the days when receiving the call to join the most prestigious MMA promotion was a monumental achievement. However, he can’t help but observe that today, many fighters seem to have a relatively more accessible path to gaining entry into the UFC.

UFC Legend Matt Brown Not Impressed with New UFC Entry Opportunities

As Brown discusses on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer, coaching fighters at his own gym has become a challenge, as the landscape has shifted significantly from just a few years ago when the ultimate aspiration was securing a spot in the UFC.

“It’s not like I necessarily don’t have that respect for the guys today, but the barrier of entry is so much lower now. When I was coming up, the UFC was a dream. It was the Super Bowl. You get to the UFC, you’re the f****** man. Now, it’s not that it’s small, it’s not a small feat, but if you’re an athlete and you get into MMA and you train hard, you’re going to have a chance at the UFC. When I was coming up, the chance to get to the UFC was a big thing. Now it’s like everybody gets the chance now.”

“Nowadays, I don’t even know what to tell up and coming fighters. “They’re like ‘I want to get four or five fights and then get to the UFC.’ A couple years ago, I’d be like don’t be a f****** idiot! Now I’m kind of like yeah, you might be able to do that.”

In reality, Brown acknowledges that many fighters are given opportunities in the UFC to fill roster spots as the number of events continues to rise annually. However, the issue arises when many of these fighters aren’t adequately prepared for the level of competition and end up being cut after only a handful of fights.

“I don’t really know what to tell them. “You’re also not going to be ready in four or five fights. Of course, you have those anomalies, the guys that are [ready], but it’s just such a different world.”

With the influx of new fighters joining the UFC each year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish one fighter from another, except for the standout stars who manage to shine amidst the crowd.

This influx of inexperienced athletes results in many events featuring a significant number of fighters with limited octagon experience. For instance, the upcoming UFC Vegas 89 card includes 12 fighters with four fights or less inside the octagon, with five of them on the main card.

Brown recalls that in the early days of the UFC under the Fertitta brothers’ leadership, there was a clamor for more events. However, nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the pace.

“Nowadays, not even saying it’s necessarily a bad thing, but we don’t really give a s***. “Like these [UFC] APEX cards, there was one last weekend. I didn’t even know it was happening until I think some people texted me about it, ‘oh this guy did this’ or something. I was like I didn’t even know there were fights tonight. I’m just relaxing at home watching a f****** movie. We wanted fights every weekend! Like why do we have to wait another f****** two months to watch this fight? Now we’ve got it.”

As the organization continues to expand, Brown anticipates that his concerns will likely be addressed with more fighters being signed to the roster who may not be fully prepared for the demands of the UFC

Hence, he endeavors to offer advice to young fighters to better equip them not only for the opportunity to make it to the UFC but also to sustain their presence there beyond a few appearances.

“People ask me what’s your advice for a young fighter? One of the things, I have a whole list of things that I say because I’ve been asked this question 10 gazillion times now, but one of the things, if you’re really serious about it, you need to get the experience of competition. You need to know how to compete. The weirdest thing I see these guys come in all the time and they want to fight straight to MMA. They’ve never done boxing or kickboxing or jiu-jitsu and they’re like ‘I want to fight MMA.’ So you want your first competition to be the most dangerous one with the highest level of consequence? It doesn’t make any sense, right? You don’t know how to compete.”

Brown also advises the next generation of fighters to comprehend the realities of competing in a sport as unforgiving as MMA. He underscores the importance of understanding the risks, including the possibility of being knocked out in front of a global audience.

Ultimately, Brown hopes to impart the harsh realities of the sport to anyone aspiring to enter the UFC.

“One of the steps is know your damn self. “For one, first this isn’t for everybody but second whoever you are is going to get exposed when you do go out there. You’re going to get exposed at some point.

“If you’re not comfortable with that exposure, if you’re insecure about that, you’re going to have a major problem at some point.”

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