Brown: There is no one I respect more than Diego Sanchez
Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown had intended to retire after fighting Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night 120 in Norfolk, VA. The fighter’s fighter had lost three in a row, and five of his last six. But it was to the best in the world.
Then during Fight Week it became clear Brown was not committed to retiring. Then he won via one extraordinary elbow in 67 seconds, winning a $50,000 performance bonus.
Retiring from fighting is terrible. No one wants to go out on a loss. But going out on a great win is tough too, as you could do this again:
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) November 12, 2017
At the post-fight press conference, the 36-year-old remained noncommittal.
“I don’t know, man. To be honest, I’m not even thinking about it right now,” said Brown, as transcribed by Shaun Al-Shatti for MMA Fighting. “To be honest, it’s not even really a thought in my mind. I’m thinking about enjoying tonight and we’ll talk about it later.”
“With Diego, I was kinda trying to play it slow. I didn’t even want to knock him out that fast. I mean, I shouldn’t say that I didn’t want to, but it wasn’t really in the gameplan. Like, I was kinda feeling him out and I was gathering my distance and setting things up for later rounds, and the opportunity just presented itself, just naturally.
“Just ending it feels good, more than anything. I felt like I needed a finish. I don’t know, I just wasn’t getting the job done, so I had to come out here and show that — at least show to myself that I’m better than I’ve been fighting.”
“I’ve definitely had more people tell me not to retire than to retire, that’s for sure. But to be honest, nobody other than me and my family really has any bearing on that, and close friends. So I’m not even going to allow anybody else’s opinions to get into my mind like that.”
Brown also offered Sanchez the highest praise.
“I told him, I said, ‘Man, I’ve got more respect for you than anybody in the game,’ and that’s a fact. That’s true, man,” said Brown. “I actually picked Diego to be champion way back in the day when he was in the UFC. I thought he would beat B.J. Penn when he fought for that title. I’ve been a huge fan of his since then.
“I was watching The Ultimate Fighter 1 with him on it and cheering him on. I think I even had King of Cage (videos) with him before he was even on The Ultimate Fighter, and I was loving the guy. I can’t say enough good things about Diego. There’s nobody else I would less rather do it to.”
Many fighters who retire end up unretiring. Fighters who aren’t certain about retiring are less likely still to retire, so odds are, we see The Immortal in the Octagon again.