The MMA Top Ten 05.04.14: Top 10 Mike Brown Fights
Posted by Alex Rella on 05.05.2014
From his title fights with Urijah Faber and his battles with Leonard Garcia to his war with Yves Edwards and more, 411's Alex Rella counts down the top 10 Mike Brown fights of all-time!
Mike Brown's Top Ten Fights
Hey everybody, I am Alex Rella and this is the MMA Top Ten. This week we will be looking at Mike Brown's best fights. The former WEC featherweight champion recently announced that his career is most likely over at this point after pulling out of a fight with Estevan Payan at UFC on Fox 11. I wanted to see him fight one more time since that one was very winnable and he could have ended his career on a high note, but it happens. If this is the end for him, Brown will be retiring with a 26-9 record and as one of the best featherweights of all time. He's top three in my opinion. The fights are ranked based on the usual: fight quality, the significance of the fight in relation to his career, and some of my personal opinion mixed in.
And yes I know some of the fight videos aren't of the one's I wrote about, don't be picky and complain.
VS Diego Nunes UFC 125- Brown lost via split decision
VS Jose Aldo WEC 44- Brown lost via second round TKO
10: VS Yves Edwards Bodog Fight Clash of Nations
Brown took on Yves Edwards in one of his last few fights before coming over to the WEC. Mike Brown spent most of his career at featherweight, but he has had the occasional fight at 155 lbs. In December 2006, Brown fought Edwards in St. Petersburg. The show was actually pretty stacked with Julie Kedzie, Jake Ellenberger, Cain Velasquez, and Roy Nelson also on the show. The Bahamian UFC, Pride, and WEC veteran had a 31-11-1. Brown showed off his great chin and even better wrestling as he pulled off a unanimous decision victory. Brown would join the WEC after two more fights.
9: VS Mark Hominick TFC 8
Years before either fighter was even close to reaching their respective primes, the two featherweights met in Toledo back in 2003. Brown had a 6-1 record and Mark Hominick was only 3-1. Brown won in the third round with a heel hook and would get a chance to compete in the UFC only about a year later. I always thought that was a cool submission. Hominick would rebound from the loss and go on to compete in the WEC and UFC himself. Hominick wouldn't win gold like Brown, but he would have one of the best featherweight fights ever when he fought Jose Aldo for the title at UFC 129.
8: VS Cole Province WEC 51
Brown was one of the best fighters to ever compete in the WEC and his final fight in the company was an impressive one. He was only 1-1 since losing the title to Jose Aldo and a loss here would have killed his stock as the UFC was absorbing the WEC's best fighters. Cole Province wasn't an elite fighter, but he did have a 6-1 record coming into this fight. Brown needed a little over a minute to finish off the younger fighter with strikes. The former champ came over to the UFC on a high note and Province would never fight again.
7: VS Anthony Morrison WEC 46
This was Mike Brown's first fight since losing the WEC featherweight championship three months earlier. His opponent was WEC newcomer, Anthony "Cheesesteak" Morrison. Unfortunately, Morrison was not as good as his nickname and he was completely out of his league in this one. Brown completely swarmed him as he won with a rear naked choke in the first round. A perfect rebound win for the former champ as he kept himself near the top of the featherweight rankings. Morrison recently had a successful Bellator debut back in 2013.
6:VS Nam Phan UFC 133
Nam Phan is not a good fighter by any means (2-6 in the UFC), but the guy does have entertaining fights more often than not and he did fight Josh Thomson for the Strikeforce lightweight title back in 2006. Brown wasn't doing too good at this point in his career. He lost his first two fights since coming over to the UFC from the WEC and it was really discouraging to see him get outwrestled Rani Yahya in his last fight. He was getting older and a three fight losing streak could have been the end for him. You could tell Brown knew his career was on the line by the way he beat the puss out of Phan in the first round. One judge even scored it a 10-8 as he just viciously beat him up. The last two rounds were much more competitive. Phan took the second with some nice striking combinations and the third round was close, but Brown edged him out with his takedowns as he won by unanimous decision (2927, 2928, 2928). A much needed win to keep his career going a little longer.
5: VS Daniel Pineda UFC 146
UFC 146 was the all heavyweight pay per view, but some of the best fights of the night came from the smaller guys on the prelims. Mike Brown and Daniel Pineda started the show off in exciting fashion. This was Mike Brown's last great fighting performance and he looked like the WEC version of himself. Pineda was on a seven fight winning streak at this point which included two in the UFC. Pineda came out strong and hurt Brown, but the veteran came back strong. He scored a takedown while he composed himself and then he went to town. His multiple takedowns and strong striking secured him the win by unanimous decision. Brown even looked great in the clinch as he knocked him down with some vicious knees on more than one occasion. Unfortunately this would be his last win as Steven Siler would knock him out in less than a minute in his next fight.
4: VS Jeff Curran WEC 34
I always liked Jeff Curran, he usually had good fights and had some nice moments in his career despite never being a great fighter. I also find it impressive that Curran has fought from lightweight through flyweight. The best part of his career was 2006-07 when he was a top featherweight and even challenged Urijah Faber for the WEC title. Curran of course wouldn't win the title and he would take on Brown next, who was making his WEC debut. Brown made a statement in his debut as he dominated the former number one contender. Brown capitalized on the opportunity as he showed off his striking, wrestling, and brutal ground and pound as he won by unanimous decision. The win was good enough to get him the next title shot against Urijah Faber.
3: VS Leonard Garcia WEC 39
Leonard Garcia is the current Legacy FC featherweight champion and while he was disastrous in the UFC, Garcia had some nice moments in the WEC. Garcia made his debut at 145 lbs against Jens Pulver at WEC 36 and a first round TKO victory would get him a title shot against Brown. Of course this was back when beating Pulver was still a big deal. Anyway, this was also a big deal for Mike Brown as he was looking to make his first successful title defense. Brown looked awesome here as Garcia decided to circle to Brown's right for some reason and got demolished by a big right hand. Garcia got dropped and Brown went to work with some brutal ground and pound that busted Garcia open. Garcia defended a rear naked choke, but eventually Brown transitioned to an arm triangle choke for the win.
2: VS Urijah Faber WEC 41
After their first meeting, Brown would defend his title against Leonard Garcia and Faber would defeat Jens Pulver in a rematch at WEC 38 to set himself for the rematch with Brown. Brown won the rematch again at WEC 41, but this was still one of the best fights of Faber's career too. Faber broke both his hands early in the fight and still kept coming using elbow strikes and kicks as his only offense. In the fifth round he threw caution to the wind and connected with 15 strikes even with his broken hands. It wasn't enough though as Brown's then iron chin took all the punishment and was the better fighter standing and on the ground. Brown won the rematch by unanimous decision (4946, 4946 and 4847), but he would lose the title to Jose Aldo in his next fight.
1: VS Urijah Faber WEC 36
Back during his WEC title run, Urijah Faber was the best featherweight and considered to be one of the best pound for pound fighters in the world. Faber defended the title five times over two and a half years. Mike Brown came into this fight on a seven fight winning streak and just defeated former number one contender Jeff Curran in his WEC debut to earn the title shot. All it took was one missed elbow and a right hand from Brown to send the champ to the mat. Brown finished it up there with several unanswered shots as the referee stopped the fight. Brown beat one of the all time greats and put his name in the record books. I went back and forth on which Faber fight should get the top spot. The fairly quick upset and brutal knockout or the rematch that was a great five round fight? Ultimately I went with this one in the top spot as Brown was such a huge underdog and almost nobody thought he could end Faber's great title run. To me, this was the more important fight when looking back on his career.
So let me know how you guys would rank them or maybe I left a fight out that you thought should be in the top 10.
As always, let me know if there are any topics or fighters you would like to see ranked in the future.