Matt Brown relishing ‘second chance’ at UFC on Versus 4

Maggie Hendricks

PITTSBURGH -- Matt Brown is on a three-fight losing streak, something that rarely happens in the UFC. Fighters with just two losses expect an unpleasant phone call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, so Brown was surprised when Silva told him that he wasn't cut.

After he was submitted by Brian Foster at UFC 123, Brown was convinced that he would be released, and that experience forced him to grow as a fighter.

"It may have helped me because I've been there. I know what it feels like to be released. I was 100 percent under the impression that I've been released. I've gotta figure out something else to do. I feel like I've already seen the worst," Brown said.

Now, in preparing for his fight with John Howard at UFC on Versus 4 in Pittsburg Sunday evening, he knows that he is on borrowed time.

"I think having that in the back of my head helps a little. This is like a second chance. I'm looking at this fight like my first fight in the UFC. My first and last fight in the UFC." {YSP:MORE}

Brown has grown to define himself as more than the guy whose chewing tobacco was messed with on "The Ultimate Fighter."

"One of the things I've learned in my fight career is that, fighters, all we ever do is fight and train. That becomes all you are. Now I'm a father. I own a home. I've grown up a lot, and I've come to realize that my self-worth is not based on if I win fights."

That doesn't mean he isn't craving a win on Sunday night over Howard. With both fighters' hard-hitting styles, Howard said the Fight of the Night bonus is "locked down," but Brown's main concern is a win and getting back on track.

"I think all my fights have potential to be fight of the night. Not to insult my past opponents, but they've all backed down when it comes time to do it. I don't see that in John Howard. I don't care about Fight of the Night. I'm here to do what I'm trained I'm to do. I'm not here to get bonus checks. Winning is what gets you somewhere. Winning is what makes you money. "

Brown said that he respects his opponent and got to know him at the UFC Fighter's Summit, but that won't keep him from "whooping his ass."

"When you're standing next to him, it humanizes him. It should chill our nerves a bit.  Then we'll be in there and be ready to bang right off the bat, instead of thinking, are you trying to kill me? Do you have a knife in your pocket?"