When Mike Brown lost to Rani Yahya at Fight for the Troops 2, I quickly wondered what it meant for the future of the man who stopped Urijah Faber's reign atop the WEC's featherweight division. Brown lost twice in January, first to Diego Nunes a UFC 125 and then to Yahya. With the UFC-WEC merger putting extra pressure on fighters to perform, would Brown find himself on the end of an unpleasant call from the UFC?
Brown kept his job, and is now recovering from an injury he suffered in the Yahya bout. With time to think, he's thought about losing and his future in the sport.
"I thought I might be gone now. I'm just grateful that Sean Shelby, Joe Silva, and Dana White, you know, I think they like me. They kept me around and I wasn't sure I still had a job. They said, 'You're okay; get your body sorted out and we know what you're capable of.' I was just so grateful for that. I know that if I lose another one...well, I'm not necessarily that worried about just getting cut, but maybe it's time for me to go away. I'm not in it to be average."
Because Brown's championship came late in his career, it can be easy to forget that he's not young. He will turn 36 this year, and he's fought in 34 bouts. Two fights in a month are trying for fighters in their mid-20s. Consider how much harder it is for a man who not only is in his mid-30s but who has been fighting since 2001.
For now, Brown will heal and try to get back his winning edge. He'll also spend time with his two new kittens, Thunder and Mickey.