Matt Brown explains how UFC 300 snub finalized retirement decision, says BKFC signing ‘not out of the question’

Matt Brown thought he would get a dream retirement scenario to end his MMA career. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen that way.

Brown announced Saturday that he was hanging up his UFC gloves after a 28-fight stint with the promotion in which he went 15-13 and racked up a number of notable records, including most knockout wins in the storied history of the welterweight division.

“The Immortal” hadn’t fought since May 2023 and was seriously mulling walking away for some time. However, he hung onto the idea that he could have one last dance on the monumental UFC 300 card last month in Las Vegas. Brown said he was expecting to get a contract to fight Jim Miller in what would be his retirement fight, but the promotion decided to book Miller against Bobby Green instead, and that marked the nail in the coffin for Brown’s decision.

“The only thing I was really holding off for was I thought I was going to get on UFC 300 and fight Jim Miller, and I was going to use that for my sendoff,” Brown told MMA Junkie Radio on Monday. “I was pretty dead set on that: I’m going to fight Jim Miller at UFC 300, this would be the most badass sendoff ever fighting such a legend like Jim Miller on the biggest card in UFC history, and they didn’t make it happen. So I was like, ‘Well, f*ck it then.’

“I’m not bitter by any means, but if there’s anything that rubbed me the wrong way it’s that I wasn’t able to get on 300, because that’s how I wanted to end it. I begged to get on 100. I begged to get on 200. I begged to get on 300. I was like, ‘Dude, haven’t I earned something yet.’ I tried everything I could, and I thought it was set in stone. I was literally training to fight Jim Miller. He said he wanted to fight me; I said I wanted to fight him. I thought all the cards were in place, and I thought it was going to be an easy call, and then it didn’t happen. It would’ve been the perfect sendoff for me. I’m sure UFC has their reasons, whatever they are.”

‘No bitterness’ toward UFC

Brown clarified that he has “no bitterness whatsoever” toward the UFC brass and emphasized he was treated well throughout his nearly 16-year tenure with the company. In fact, he was offered a fight against Max Griffin recently for an upcoming event, but by the time the proposal came through, he’d already mentally exited from the idea of competition.

“The UFC did make me an offer a few months ago for a fight,” Brown said. “I remember I woke up one morning and I saw the email, and my d*ck didn’t get hard. I didn’t get a feeling down my spine. I wasn’t excited. I was like, ‘Man, I could use that money. That’d be cool.’ But I just didn’t get fired up about it. That was probably the first thing. Then, secondly, (I’ve been) flipping houses and running a gym now. I have a good crew of people and staff in my gym. I really feel like I’m selling these people short because I’ve been fighting, and these businesses are not growing to the extent they could because I’m not putting that kind of energy into it.

“I’m just going for that quick buck, going and making money fighting. My guys in my gym have been with me for the six years I’ve owned it. They’ve gotten very small raises the whole time. I feel like I can make a lot more money, not only for myself but for them also. We have a lot of customers I don’t really get to hang out with and speak to. I just feel like I’m feeling a lot of people short, including my family. My children – the ability to be present with them and the ability to spend more time with them, things like that.”

May 13, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Matt Brown (red gloves) celebrates after defeating Court McGee (blue gloves) in a welterweight bout during UFC Fight Night at Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Fighting outside of MMA?

At 43, Brown struggles to see a path back to fighting in his future, though he didn’t completely rule it out. The idea of fighting in the UFC is over, he said, and he’s already been withdrawn from the Drug Free Sport drug-testing pool.

Brown said he’s open to offers from non-MMA entities, but the dollars have to make sense.

“It’s not out of the question,” Brown said. “I’ve talked a little bit with those people (at BKFC). It’s not completely out of the question. Bareknuckle doesn’t excite me a ton because it’s just boxing with the hands, which doesn’t excite me a ton. But obviously I’m not going to turn down a big payday. I wish there was like a muay Thai promotion that would pay that kind of money, like a ONE Championship or something. That’s what makes me fired up the most is muay Thai. That’s what I love doing the most. I wouldn’t say it’s completely out of the question. But my mindset is not really in the fighting mindset right now. It’s really in the business mindset.

“If the number was right, and I don’t think any of these places will give me that number. If it was Floyd Mayweather or something and get $5 million, $6 million like, of course, I’m not going to turn that down. But anything under $1 million doesn’t even really make sense to me.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie