Following a loss to Jordan Griffin at UFC on ESPN+ 27 to start off his 2020 in February, featherweight TJ Brown’s year was further compounded by the novel coronavirus and the lockdown that ensued.
While Brown was able to get in some training, being able to work out in a facility became an issue due to the lockdown.
“I’m sure like everybody else with the pandemic and all, at our gym where I not only train but work as well, it definitely hurt our numbers, and we had to change things,” Brown told MMAWeekly.com.
“As far as training, I was able to have some guys, a little small tight-knit group, that kind of stayed together and got training done.”
When it comes to the loss to Griffin and what he took away from it, Brown feels like he got too far away from the fighter he normally is in the bout and it cost him.
“I was winning the whole fight outside of getting choked; I wasn’t so upset about the choke, I was more upset with my performance,” said Brown. “I didn’t go out there and open up like I should have. I didn’t fight like the fighter that me into the UFC. A fighter that goes out there, lets his hands go, and opens up his stand-up.”
This Saturday in Las Vegas, Brown (14-7) will look to rebound when he faces Danny Chavez (10-3) in a 145-pound preliminary bout at UFC 252.
“I want to be careful with my words, I don’t want to be disrespectful, but at the same time I don’t think he’s really fought anybody,” Brown said of Chavez. “He’s not fought the level of competition I’ve fought throughout my career.
“He looks like he throws hard kicks. He likes to stand. His last two fights have been finished standing up. But with that being said, I think I’m better than him striking, and if I need to I’ll take him to the ground and sub him.”
For Brown, he hopes Saturday’s bout will help springboard him to at least one more fight to close out his 2020.
“I want to go in there, open up and let my striking go, and show what full mixed martial artist I am,” said Brown. “My goal is to win this fight, win impressively, and hopefully get onto Fight Island at the end of the year. It would be the world to me to travel like that and fight like that. That’s my goal.”