Miguel Baeza: Beating Matt Brown Proves That I Belong in UFC

By: Tristen Critchfield
May 19, 2020

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It was a little bit of a surreal experience for Miguel Baeza to see Matt Brown standing across from him in the Octagon.

“I was in high school when that guy was fighting,” Baeza said after his win at UFC on ESPN 8.

Baeza and Brown engaged in one of the most entertaining bouts on this past Saturday’s card at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The first round in particular featured a couple of major momentum swings, as Brown stunned Baeza and dislodged his mouthpiece with a barrage of punches in the early going. The Dana White’s Contender Series alum answered later in the frame, when he dropped Brown with a one-two combination but was unable to put his opponent away with follow-up ground-and-pound on the canvas.

“Caramel Thunder” didn’t waste much time in Round 2, as he followed a low calf kick with a counter left hook to finish Brown just 18 seconds into the period.

“I missed my opportunity the first time to finish him, so the second round I wanted to make sure I finished the fight right there,” Baeza said. “As soon as I knocked him down, I tried to get on top of him because his nickname is ‘The Immortal,’ so I’m not about to let a guy with that name get away after I get a knockdown like that.

“It turned into a fight, he caught me and I just wanted to get him back and it became a scrap after that. I saw what he had, took his shot and then I was able to get my timing from there.”

Baeza, who improved to 9-0 as a professional, now has a signature win in just his second Octagon appearance. It also validates his spot on the roster in the largest MMA promotion in the world.

“Coming from the Contender Series, a lot people weren’t really behind me getting picked,” said Baeza, who earned a contract on the strength of a decision triumph over Victor Reyna in a Season 3 bout. “Beating a veteran like Matt Brown solidifies that I belong. It was a big win, and a dream come true to fight a guy like that I’ve been watching so long.”

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