Mike Thomas Brown will look for his third straight win when he meets Steven Siler on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 26. However, it wasn’t that long ago that the former WEC featherweight champion was staring at a third straight loss.
“If I had lost one more fight, I was going to retire,” Brown told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show.
Brown had dropped back-to-back decisions to Diego Nunes and Rani Yahya during a three-week span in January 2011. Going into his August 2011 bout against Nam Phan, he felt his legacy was on the line.
“I thought I don’t want to be totally destroying what I’ve done by going out on such a bad note,” Brown said. “I had a rough streak, and if I didn’t pull myself out of it, I would want to go out on my own. I don’t want to be a loser in the sport.”
Brown beat Phan and also outpointed Daniel Pineda in May 2012. Now, after a second neck surgery, he’s finally healthy again heading into his matchup against Siler. He’s been training for his lanky opponent with similarly built teammate Cole Miller, who lost a decision to Siler in March 2012. Miller, meanwhile, is scheduled to meet former Brown opponent Manny Gamburyan on the same card.
“Siler’s tall and so is Cole, so I’ve been sparring with him a lot, and I’m short and compact like Manny is, so we’ve actually been great training partners,” Brown said. “Of course [Miller] told me what he thought of the fight. Hopefully we can both get some redemption for each other. That’s the game plan.”
Siler has impressed Brown with his 4-1 record in the UFC, but Brown likes the matchup.
“He might be the tallest guy I’ve fought, but typically in training, I train really well against those guys,” Brown said. “I think he’s very susceptible to a few things that I like to do.”
In particular, Brown sees himself as the more powerful puncher. He’ll have to work inside Siler’s reach advantage to land, but if he does connect, he expects his opponent to drop. A knockout would Mark Brown’s first in the UFC.
“I still throw hard,” he said. “That’s my game. I think I’m the bigger puncher for sure. Sometimes it’s a little bit of luck. In the UFC I haven’t landed my shot yet. If I land one solid, then he’ll go down.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 30:02).