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UFC Fight Night 211's Randy Brown and the MMA lifestyle: 'I love everything about it'

Brown faces Francisco Trinaldo in the co-main event of Saturday's card at the UFC Apex.
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If he's not competing inside an octagon or testing his physical limits in the gym, you might find Randy Brown at home, streaming mixed martial arts content and uploading post-fight reactions and his own training footage on Twitch and YouTube.

"I've always been creative," Brown said. "I'm a gamer, I've always been into art, and I like doing cool sh-t, man. I like to express myself in any way I can.

"It's funny, I've created a community," he continues. "Somehow, I've got over a thousand people in a Discord that chat all day with me, banter and nonsense. It is cool (and) a good way to connect with fans, and I truly appreciate that because it shows me that people care about you and care about what you're doing, and you get to connect with them on a different level other than just fighting."

A student of the game, Brown immerses himself year-round in mixed martial arts, constantly improving his own skills in training while growing his Rudeboy following. Brown has built MMA into a lifestyle, not just a job.

"I try not to put too much thought into the mental aspect of the game," Brown said. "The mental part of it for me is basically just performing, the skillset and being able to do this thing. As far as me getting away from it, I'm a student of the game; I love the game. I love everything about it, so it's never a hindrance."

After all the training and streaming, there eventually comes a point where he must step into the octagon and put all his work on display for UFC fans around the world. Last time out, at "UFC 274: Oliveira vs. Gaethje," Brown overcame a slow start to earn a split-decision victory over Khaos Williams.

It took the first five minutes for Brown to find his rhythm and adapt to what Williams was bringing his way, costing him a 10-9 round on all three judges' scorecards in the first. But the second referee Jason Herzog called the fighters to begin round two, Brown took control and showed how diverse and skillful he can be on the feet.

That slow start wasn't by design, but not something Brown (15-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC) is discouraged by. Gameplans don't always come to fruition, and having a fight play out exactly how you imagined is very rare. So, in preparation for his "UFC Fight Night 211: Dern vs. Yan" opponent, Francisco Trinaldo (28-8 MMA, 18-7 UFC), Brown focused on putting himself into every position the fight could go, even if he has no intentions of taking it there himself.

"The fight is not always what you expect it to be," Brown said. "The fight, it sometimes just is what it is. With a guy like Trinaldo, you got to be prepared for the worst and you got to be prepared for the best-case scenario. What I did in practice was prepare for every single scenario, so I'm going to go out there and I'm going to execute what I do; I'm not really going to worry too much about what he must do."

"If I do that, depending on what he gives me, let's see what I feel. It's art, it's a blank slate, a blank canvas, and I got to go out there and see what it is, feel it out and make my adjustments."

It'll be just under five months since Brown last made his walk to the octagon and, in that time, he's made it a priority to improve on being a well-rounded fighter, rather than being elite in one discipline and lacking at others.

That's something we see regularly amongst the elite athletes in the UFC; a well-rounded skill set with very few holes in their game. Hunting to be in the Top 15, Brown will try to be a step ahead in both the striking and grappling exchanges this weekend to show that he can compete against any ranked talent.

"Everywhere, honestly," Brown said regarding where he's seen improvements since his bout against Williams. "I'm never really looking to just focus on one part of the game and say, ‘Well, I'm good at this so let me taper down on this and start focusing on another thing that I maybe lack at.' I work on everything, whether I'm good at it or bad at it; I'm focused on bringing up all parts of my game. Rising tides raise all ships.

"There's no easy nights," Brown concludes. "I know it won't be easy, but I think I can beat him anywhere the fight takes place. Obviously, in a fight you're not looking to be on your back; I'm going to be on top if we're on the ground, and if we're standing up, I'm looking to lead the dance and control the exchanges."

This story first published at UFC.com.