Former title contender Dan Hardy was forced out of his scheduled bout against Brown due to an irregular heartbeat caused by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and for safety precautions the UFC opted not to let him compete on this weekend's card.
It didn’t take UFC matchmaker Joe Silva long to find a replacement, however, as former Strikeforce competitor Jordan Mein got the call and accepted on the spot, just a few weeks after blasting through Dan Miller in his Octagon debut.
Heading into UFC on Fox 7, Brown was anticipating a showdown with one of the sport's most popular and magnetic fighters. When he was presented with Mein as an alternative, some of those closest to him told him the fight became all risk with low reward, and it might not be a good idea to accept the replacement.
That's just not how Brown operates, however.
"You can't let it bug you. You kind of just roll with the punches and just keep your mind focused on your goal and that is to win your fight no matter who is standing in front of you," Brown told MMA's Great Debate Radio in an interview that airs on Thursday. "A lot of people were telling me not to even take this fight. That's not what I do, and here I am."
While Mein is a very tough challenger, he's still relatively unknown in most circles and definitely doesn't carry a household name around MMA like Hardy. Brown won't deny that the replacement changed a lot of things for him going into this fight, but he's a professional and his job is to beat whoever is standing in front of him—whether his last name happens to be Hardy or Mein.
One thing Brown knows for sure is that Mein won't be making his name in the UFC by beating him on Saturday night.
"I'm here for one reason. I'm just going to fight and it doesn't matter who's standing across from me in the Octagon," Brown said. "All of that stuff doesn't change a single thing when it comes down to it. I'm here just simply to fight the best that I can, and if he wants to make a name off of me, that's his mistake."
Mein doesn't come to the fight without experience despite only having one fight in the UFC. His bout with Brown will be his 36th professional fight, and he's faced some tough challengers throughout his career.
Despite his UFC experience, Brown actually sees Mein as a tougher challenge than Hardy would have been. Mein brings a much different kind of arsenal to the fight. Add to that, Mein's record is impressive, but until his recent move to Strikeforce and then to the UFC, finding footage on the young Canadian wasn't nearly as easy as locating tape on Hardy.
"I see him as more dangerous than Dan Hardy in the sense that for one he's more unpredictable. I don't know as much about him," Brown stated. "I can get probably 15 or 20 fights on Dan Hardy right now if I wanted them. With Jordan Mein I'm looking at maybe three or four fights. Like I said earlier Jordan, he's an up and comer whereas Dan Hardy's talking about retirement.
"You've got a guy that's ultra hungry and probably trying to make a run for the title. Where Dan Hardy has probably accepted that he's not going to be in the title picture and he's moved on in his career. So, those are two completely different mentalities that you're dealing with. It's not taking anything away from Dan Hardy, it's just a different mentality."
It doesn't matter to Brown what Mein brings into this fight—he's planning on sending Mein packing with his first UFC loss and the experience of tasting defeat on national television for the first time. It may not be the way Mein hopes the fight goes, but Brown will be happy to disappoint him.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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