In May, Anthony Johnson had to back out of a scheduled fight with Matt Brown due to a knee injury. At the time, Brown was disappointed, but it turned out to be the best thing for him.
"The same week as he backed out was the time when my father was diagnosed with cancer," Brown told Cagewriter. "It was just destined to be that way. It worked out better in some ways. If that fight never would have gotten canceled, then who is to say what would have happened. My dad went into the hospital on Memorial Day weekend. Had I taken the fight, that whole first time he was in the hospital, I wouldn't have been able to be there. It definitely gave me some more time to deal with that. I would have been in training camp having to deal with the fact that my dad was in the hospital with cancer."
Brown's father, James, passed away in September from acute myeloid leukemia, complicated by diabetes and heart failure. Matt had held fundraisers to help his father deal with his medical bills, but when his father passed away, he returned every cent to donors.
"The idea was to help my father so he could keep his house, but the bills were so bad that it didn't make sense to keep everyone's money when he died."
Brown is now looking ahead to this Saturday's bout with "The Ultimate Fighter" season nine winner, James Wilks. He does not expect that this fight will go to the judges' cards.
"I think both of us, stylistically, are pretty active in all areas of the game. Neither one of us has been known to hold back much, or slow down during a fight. I don't really see any of my fights going to a decision. I'm always really surprised when they do. My fighting style just doesn't cause too many decisions. I move forward, I push the pace, I'm always scrambling to make things happen. When you're doing that, it doesn't go to a decision very often."
Though he isn't a fan of traveling, Brown doesn't think that the British Wilks will have much of an advantage when fighting on his home soil.
"A fight's a fight. It can be in my backyard, his backyard, it's all the same thing, really. When the doors close in the cage and it's the two of you standing in there, all that stuff pretty much goes out the window. A lot of people make a big deal out of that, but it's pretty much nothing."
With a win, Brown can start to look for fights with top ten fighters and continue his way up the welterweight ladder. However, he tends not to worry about things like that.
"A lot will depend on how I win. If I go in there and win a split decision, I will win a SD over a guy who just had his first fight in the UFC. If I go in win like I did against Pete Sell, I did what I'm suppposed to do. I don't think about things like that too much. I think about being the best I can, and fighting the best I can every day. Let things like that take care of themselves."