Brown on the cusp of the elite at UFC on FOX

Matt Brown, pictured, delivered a thrilling performance with a third-round stoppage of Brazilian import Erick Silva. (Eric Jamison/AP)
December 3, 2012, 8:25 PM

By Dwight Wakabayashi

Matt Brown is set to open the UFC on FOX 5 show Saturday against Mike Swick and there is nothing accidental about that. The 31-year-old they call The Immortal is on a three-fight win streak and like his next foe, Mike Swick, he’s always looking to light fireworks inside the cage. A climb like the one that Brown is currently on gets you big, tough fights and he has that with a lighting fast and dangerous Swick.

Watch Saturday’s UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz on Sportsnet, starting with the televised undercard at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT, followed by the four-fight main card at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. A bonus early preliminary fight is expected to appear on Sportsnet.ca at about 4:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. PT.

The gritty Ultimate Fighter alum has been perfect in 2012 with a tough decision win over Steven Thompson and two TKO victories over Chris Cope and Luis Ramos.

Brown has long been looking to shake his drug-laden past and stamp his place as an elite fighter in the UFC. He pretty much confirmed it in a recent interview with top combat sport journalist Kevin Iole of Yahoo.com.

“To be honest with you, I’ve never wanted that to be what I’m known for,” Brown said. “It’s come out because in interviews, people ask me questions and I answer them. When I went to The Ultimate Fighter, it wasn’t like I went to them and said, ‘Hey, you’ll have a great story with me.’ I was like, ‘I’m a fighter and I can fight.’ That’s how I want to be known.

“If people are inspired by my story, fine, but I don’t go looking for that. I’m not looking to be called a hero because of what happened. What happened to me happened and it’s in the past. I want it to be about my fighting career, not about my past or what I do in my daily life.”

A win over Swick will somewhat further legitimize Brown’s skill and then some, and propel him up to a contender-type fight in 2013. His grit and toughness are more than well established, but he has never been able to get completely over that hump to the top of a very tough welterweight division. A win could set him up with the likes of a Thiago Alves, Jake Ellenberger or Dan Hardy.

At his age, a loss would pretty much spell the end of any real run to contender status for Brown, and would lump him in with the many other fighters on the roster who just are who they are.

Swick is a dangerous foe from anywhere in the cage, mostly standing up throwing hands, but the deeper this one goes the more I like Brown’s chances of getting a win in the end. He has always been a man who does his talking in the cage and I’m looking forward to seeing what he has to say to Swick on Saturday night.

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