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UFC's Mike Brown - 'I don't think I'll fight again.'

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Former featherweight world champion Mike Brown may never fight again (Getty)

UFC featherweight Mike Brown recently pulled out of a scheduled April 19 bout with Estevan Payan because a nagging and serious neck issue had flared up again. While the former world champ is reluctant to use the "R" word, retirement, he says that he likely won't ever fight again.

“I don’t think I’ll fight again,” Brown told MMAjunkie. “I haven’t retired, just in case, because I don’t want to be a guy who walks away and comes right back.”

“I accepted it like seven weeks out, but my neck was kind of bothering me and it’s too much on my neck,” Brown detailed.

“I was training and in good shape, but then I started losing some strength in my hand again. When I get banged in the head some of my grip strength goes away and it’s just a reoccurring injury.”

In a game where you get hit in the head daily, not being able to take those hits anymore should pretty much be a game-ender. Brown's neck issue clearly has to do with disc and nerve issues, resulting in the temporary loss of full use of his left hand.

“It’s hard when you’ve got only one hand that’s working properly. I can’t hold onto anything with my left. If I try to grab somebody’s wrist they can easily pull away because my strength is gone. Usually in a month or two, that strength comes back, but if I bang my head and get a stinger, it goes away again. It’s just continuously active," he explained.

Brown, who won and retained the featherweight world title by beating Urijah Faber twice, currently coaches other fighters at American Top Team in Florida. He feels fortunate to already have that role to transition into fully should he never himself personally compete in MMA again.

“Coaching is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was younger,” Brown said.

“I wanted to coach pro fighters, high-level guys because I love the fight game. I got lucky to be at ATT doing what I love. I would do it for free, and I’m really lucky to do what I do.

“I’m lucky I’m at American Top Team. I’m already in coaching, so I’ll be right into a coaching role and staying involved in the sport and doing what I love.”

Brown is one of the greats and we here at Yahoo! Sports wish him health and happiness in whatever comes next in his life and career.

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