Not only did Randy Brown have to deal with a game opponent at UFC Fight Night 194, but he also had to battle through a mangled toe for much of Saturday’s co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“It just snapped out of place,” Brown said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “The big toe snapped out of place at the joint high up on the foot there. But it kept going back in. I kept putting it back in. Interesting experience.”
The broadcast team pointed out that Brown’s foot appeared to be compromised after landing a front kick to Jared Gooden’s chin early in the fight, but it was unclear how much it would negatively affect the welterweight known as “Rude Boy.” In the moment, Brown just relied on instinct to treat the injury as best he knew how so he could continue competing.
“I put it back in,” Brown said. “It came out and I looked at it. I was like, ‘All right.’ It’s crazy the thought and the instinct just kicks in. [It’s like], ‘Let me just step on that,’ because it looks like protruding through my skin, so I just stepped on it and it snapped back in.”
Everything worked out for the best for the ex-Ring of Combat champion, as he continued to attack Gooden with jabs, punching combinations and the occasional flying knee en route a unanimous decision triumph over an opponent who missed weight by three pounds one day prior.
Brown said that he didn’t spend too much time worrying about his toe during the fight.
“There’s a killer like Jared Gooden in front of you,” he said. “You’re more worried about him than a dislocated toe. He’s throwing bombs with big power. I’m more worried about getting knocked out than my toe.”
The Budokan Martial Arts Academy representative admitted that his power was hindered as the action progressed, which left him unable to pursue the finish with as much enthusiasm as he might have liked.
“The only thing it affected was me being able to drive. I had to fight a certain way,” Brown said. “I had to just touch him with my punches. I couldn’t really sit and dig on punches. Every time I sat and twisted, it snapped out and I’m like, ‘Great.’ I started just pawing at him and open-hand slapping at him. I had to improvise.”