The hectic life of a professional fighter often offers little time for sitting back and enjoying the ride.
The next fight is always of paramount importance and it’s rare, injuries aside, that a fighter gets time to properly gather their thoughts.
With the sport constantly evolving on a daily basis it is the fighters who feel the relentless brunt of this pressure as they are forced to strive harder and faster to attain their goals.
Mike Thomas Brown is one such individual who has clearly felt the effects of training and competing relentlessly at the highest level.
After a WEC career that saw him defeat featherweight champion Urijah Faber twice, and defend the title a further two times, it was expected that Brown would make big waves following the merger.
Brown’s UFC return, however, was a disappointing one as he dropped a split decision to Diego Nunes on New Year’s Day.
The former champion stated he felt lethargic in the later rounds but, following an injury to Chan Sung Jung, jumped back into action barely three weeks later against Rani Yahya.
It was yet another uncharacteristically sluggish performance from the explosive striker who dropped another decision. Brown revealed after the fight that he was suffering with a hand injury and was also completely fatigued.
It’s clear that he needed a break and the featherweight fighter took a self imposed hiatus from the sport to heal his nagging injuries and clear his mind.
I caught up with Mike recently, following rehabilition of his injury, and we talked about his time away from the sport and his plans to return.
Mike first of all thanks very much for taking the time at the moment. You’ve spoken about your desire to take time away from fighting and competition. How have you adjusted to this after such a frantic schedule previously?
I’m just relaxing and enjoying life a bit. It’s good to get the opportunity and I’m healing all those small nagging injuries that I’ve never really let heal properly.
You’ve talked about being extremely fatigued, not due to lack of training, during both of these fights. Is this something you’ve been able to look at now you’re away from training so intensely?
I’ll be honest with you I’m not sure what was going on completely. I’ve spoken to a few different exercise physiologists and doctors and they all agree that I was over training.
Looking back at your last two fights do you regret taking the Yahya fight on such short notice?
Looking back at the Yahya fight, yes I do regret it. I was just in a rush to get back in there. I was really upset about the Nunes fight and I thought I would just jump back and erase all those negative feelings.
It didn’t go how I planned it and the whole situation backfired on me.
It was reported after that fight that you had quite a bad hand injury. What state of rehabilitation are you at now with that?
Rehab on my hand has gone well and I’m back to 100% now. Ideally I’d like to fight in August or September if I get the chance.
It’s fair to say that the newer members of the UFC audience haven’t been given the best impression of Mike Brown. Upon your return what do you plan to deliver to those who may not have seen your best moments?
I want them to see will see a much more focused fighter who is in there to put guys away. I want to get back on the winning track and finish this year with a bang.
Mike thanks again for time and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours. Is there anyone you’d like to thank at the minute?
Yeah thanks to ATT, Bushmaster Firearms, Headrush and my girlfriend Leia for being there through the toughest times.
Mike Brown remains one of the hardest hitting featherweights around and his current break from the rigors of training can only benefit him both physically and mentally.
A focused and fit Mike Brown still remains one of the more difficult propositions to any featherweight to deal with.
The former champion will surely realise that the road back to the top will be far from easy but is clearly already planning his next campaign.
Sometimes even the best need time to slow down and admire the scenery and it seems that Mike Thomas Brown will be looking to prove he belongs in that bracket the next time the cage door closes.