Matt Brown got off to a good start during the media scrum to promote his UFC on Fox 12 clash with Robbie Lawler. Then he went and did what Matt Brown does.
The surging UFC welterweight contender was asked about what it would take to be considered the favorite in a fight, and Brown answered in typical Brown fashion, via Steve Marracco and John Morgan of MMAJunkie:
I anticipate to be a favorite once, I don’t know, maybe I’m champion or something...Maybe they put me against some retard or something, I don’t know. That’s irrelevant in my mind.
Now, it doesn't take very much searching on the Internet to know that use of the "R-Word" isn't exactly accepted these days.
Brown isn't new to controversy due to his comments. In the past, his statements on women's MMA (via David St. Martin of MMAFighting) weren't very supportive of female athletes.
Brown's blue-collar attitude and appearance as an everyday kind of guy have allowed him to connect with MMA fans. He doesn't look like a walking, shredded pharmacy, comes from humble roots, has an incredible story (as told by Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole) and generally says what's on his mind.
Those qualities can lead to fighters becoming popular with UFC brass for their ability to draw fans in or result in them being heralded as "the biggest star in UFC history." But considering Brown is nowhere near on the same level as a Chael Sonnen or Ronda Rousey, he can't afford to be making these kinds of comments.
If Brown can pull off the upset against Lawler at UFC on Fox 12, the UFC may want to have a talk with Brown and his reps. He'll be cast in another high-profile fight that will have even more eyes and ears paying attention in a future title clash with Johny Hendricks.
With a national television audience in place due to UFC's partnership with Fox, having a champion (or prominent fighter) making these kind of insensitive comments will only make both MMA and the UFC easier targets for those who look to criticize them.