What’s the road from bullet to the head to UFC? LFA’s Chris Brown is hopefully writing the blueprint on the unprecedented journey.
“The cops were there when I got to the hospital and they were like, ‘We were expecting you because we seen how many bullet casings were out there and we figured you got hit,’” Brown recalls. “The doctor told me that if it had been a centimeter lower it would have blew my eye out.”
In the summer of 2014, Brown found himself in Houston with little hope of good news from his brother’s trial. When the verdict was read, any sort of progress Brown had made had been ultimately halted. Somehow the worst for Brown was yet to come.
“When I had moved back to Houston I was training at a jiu jitsu gym in Sugarland and things weren’t going the way I wanted,” Brown said. “I couldn’t get fights, people were pulling out of fights and then my brother went to jail. They gave him 20 years, and after that I was just kind of in a ‘f*** it’ mode and I was in the streets doing some street stuff and all kinds of craziness. One thing led to another and I ended up getting involved in some stuff and ended up getting myself shot.”
The day of Brown’s eye opening experience should have been a couple days after his eye opening experience, but even after being involved in a high speed shootout in the same vehicle he would come inches away from death in, Brown was still running wild.
“I was living some street s***,” Brown explained. “That was the second time I got shot at that week. I got shot at on Wednesday. We were basically on a high-speed chase and the guy was shooting at me and I got shot that Friday night.”
When Brown woke up Friday morning he had come to a crossroads in his life and decided the street life was officially coming to an end. After one last night out to “tie up loose ends” per se, Brown would be done.
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Sometimes right on time is a moment too late. For Brown that was inches from reality.
“He was standing in the street, and I was in my Jeep and when I saw the gun flash it hit my windshield, hit me and then went out my window. My driver’s side window,” Brown said. “They said it grazed me but it went in my forehead and came out of my forehead.”
Blood squirted from Brown’s head the whole way home. Brown remained shockingly coherent through the ordeal. Using his shirt to tourniquet his sprinkling bullet wound to stay alive, Brown went home to see the damage in the mirror for the first time. There was a heavy amount of blood, a heavy amount of adrenaline and a confusing amount of consciousness.
“I drove home and went into the bathroom and I was like, ‘Well, I wouldn’t be functioning like this if a bullet was in my brain,’ but I could tell there was something in my forehead,” Brown said. “There’s, like, a big tunnel. You can see a tunnel on my forehead too. I definitely knew I needed stitches, so I took a shower and after I got out of the shower my cousin came to the house and she was telling me to get my ass to the hospital.”
The hospital removed the bullet fragment and sewed up Brown’s wounds. To this day there is no physical lasting effects of Brown’s bullet wounds. No headaches, no dizziness, nothing. The bullet went in the skin in one side of his head and out the other without ever penetrating the skull.
Brown understands how lucky he is but he doesn’t let the incident serve as a “that was close” fleeting moment. The experience is used as a tool for himself and others.
Regardless of how some may look at him, Brown doesn’t see his past as an indicator of who he is today. If he can inspire one person while continuing to better himself it’s a story worth sharing.
“I’m living a good life now, getting to live my dreams, getting to wake up and be a professional fighter every day and be on TV and get all the love I get now. It’s really just a story I can tell. I talk to kids a lot about not having to be a product of their environment and you don’t have to get stuck in situations. If they change their lives, they can do better.”
No matter how far Brown has come, he didn’t survive a bullet to the head to call it good. He’s happy to have escaped that summer night alive, but the top of the mountain isn’t simply surviving. There’s still plenty on Brown’s agenda.
“I feel that I’ve accomplished a lot with the way I’ve turned it around, but the UFC is the goal,” Brown said. “I don’t plan on stopping until I get there.”
Catch Chris Brown in action at LFA 121 Friday, January 14, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!