Despite delivering one of the only highlight-reel clips of UFC 130 â€“ and getting the bonus to show for it â€“ the 29-year-old former K-9 trainer sat patiently on the post-event press conference dais while the cards headliners explained a lackluster showing.
Browne (11-0-1 MMA, 2-0-1 UFC) was one of only two that dressed up for the occasion, wearing a button-down shirt and tie. (Brian Stann took it a step further and wore a suit jacket.) But he eventually got his moment, and not just with the knockout.
The 6-foot-11 Stefan Struve provided the content for Browne’s highlight reel when he lunged in with a knee and caught a right to the jaw that put him horizontal to the mat before he landed there. Browne pounced and delivered follow-up punishment, but there was no need.
An extra $70,000 went Browne’s way for the result, which brought his (disclosed) pay for the event to $86,000. Not only that, he jumped a rung on the heavyweight ladder.
Not bad considering he was only beginning to find his way in the cage when he landed the big shot.
“Leading up to that, I was just starting to find my rhythm,” Browne said. “It’s hard to find somebody that’s [6-foot-11] to spar with, and find range. It was definitely an adjustment I had to make during the fight.
“But one of the things I noticed was that every time we’d separate, he’d throw one of those knees, and probably about two combinations before I landed, I was thinking about it. Then I heard my corner yell it, and the rest is history.”
Given the result of his previous fight â€“ a unanimous draw with Cheick Kongo at UFC 120 â€“ it was a downright ecstatic turn of events.
Sitting on the podium for the first time in his career, he felt like things were finally coming together.
“Oh man, it was so great, especially after coming to that draw,” he said. “(I was) looking forward to this fight and showing people what I can really do in this heavyweight division â€“ and to know that (UFC president) Dana White and (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva believe in me to put me in there with a guy like Struve.”
John Bosco, Browne’s manager, said the Kongo disappointment served as a springboard for this past Saturday’s performance.
“I felt validated because I spend time pitching him to sponsors and selling him to people,” Bosco said in an interview Tuesday with MMAjunkie.com. “I know how good he is. I know how powerful he is.
“After the Kongo performance, everybody doubted him. And from the best fighters in the world to the worst fighters in the world, every fighter has that one or two fights that they learn from heavily. He got pushed in that Kongo fight, and that created a level of awareness that said to him, ‘I’m fighting guys in a different league. I need to become a professional.’ So that’s what he did.”
“By no means is he there yet. He has a lot of improvements to make, but he’s on his way. What I will say definitively is that he is the most dangerous heavyweight in the division.”
And if Browne is going to ascend the ranks, it’s probably a good idea that he dress up. Soon, he won’t have to wait to be heard.
Article by: JenTNGF