Matt Brown may have stormed back to title relevance in 2013, but apparently his brain got left back in the welterweight division's middle tier.
"The whole fight we have women in one room, men in another room, [Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate] come on and all the women just f****** gather around the TV like it's the f****** Kardashians coming on," he said, per David St. Martin of MMAFighting.com.
While that on its own isn't too bad (honestly, have you ever tried watching fights with completely unfamiliar fans? It's terrible, they ask you what's happening and why they aren't just standing up all the time) he really drives home the whole boorish chauvinist look by saying, "I just think this, if I'm [going] to pay $60 for a Pay-Per-View to watch women fight they should at least be topless."
That, ladies and gentlemen, is not a smart thing to say. As the first American of either gender to earn an Olympic medal in Judo, and as a UFC champion with two title defenses, Rousey's athletic accomplishments dwarf anything Brown has done to date. Worse yet, he didn't stop there:
How many knockouts do you see in women's fights? It's not really my thing, I respect what they do, but look, they don't have the body type or the power, all that sh**, for knockouts. If you're not a good grappler in women's MMA then you're behind. It's no different than the 125 [pound] division of men's MMA in that they're just really not built for knockouts.
First of all, trying to bill grappling as less than striking is dumb all on its own. Wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu dominated all the style-versus-style tournaments of the UFC's golden age.
Secondly, while female knockouts may be relatively rare in the UFC these days, that primarily stems from the fact that the vast majority of fighters in the women's bantamweight division come from grappling backgrounds. A sweeping generalization that women lack knockout power is, simply, inaccurate. Strikeforce was propped up for a time by Cris "Cyborg" Justino's ability to demolish other women with punches, and the knockout rate in Invicta is close to that of the UFC.
Thirdly, saying the flyweight division lacks knockouts is a distinctly "2012" brand of dumb. The reality is that, right now, the division is dominated by knockout artists. Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez and John Dodson all demonstrated themselves to have a great deal of pop in their hands, and that's without even mentioning John Lineker.
The phrase, "better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove any doubt," comes to mind immediately. Unfortunately, this is basically the worst possible time for Brown to remove that doubt.
After toiling away in the middle of the welterweight pack, compiling a 5-5 record through his first 10 UFC fights, Brown has gone on a 6-0 run has him near the top of the UFC's most crowded division. He was forced to withdraw from a potential top contenders' bout at UFC on Fox 9 with Carlos Condit but remains one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC.
This casts him in a negative light when he was actually one of the biggest comeback stories of 2013.
It's hard to believe that some kind of blowback isn't coming. While this doesn't come close to the transphobic tirade of Matt Mitrione (which earned him a suspension from the UFC), something between a forced, half-hearted apology and a fine is likely to come from this.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!