Jake Ellenberger may have only taken one victory in his last six outings, but Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown certainly knows better than to think he’s in for an easy night’s work on July 30 at UFC 201.
Like “The Juggernaut,” Brown has faced some of the greatest fighters in the world at welterweight. Based on what he has seen Ellenberger do to top-of-the-food-chain competition, he knows he’ll have to have his wits about him when they face off.
“I won’t be taking Ellenberger lightly,” he said. “He’s up there with all of those top guys for sure. He has the ability to beat every single one of those guys at the top of the division. There was a time where people saw Ellenberger as the next champion. I still don’t think that’s an unrealistic aspiration for him.
“He hasn’t really been able to get the job done as of late, but he still definitely has it in him. I think his best years are still ahead of him. He’s got a lot of talent and he’s a great fighter.
“Man, the guy almost knocked out Carlos Condit! When you look at the guys he lost to, he’s always put them in trouble. I don’t want to take him lightly and end up in that position.”
While some may busy themselves preparing for specific threats that their counterparts bring into the fight, despite his glowing reference for Ellenberger, Brown believes if he is 100 percent going into the bout. And he will be prepared for any threats the 16-fight UFC vet will bring to the Octagon.
“I’m not worried too much about what he’s going to do,” Brown said. “I’m more concerned with myself. As long as I go in there as good as I can be, then I don’t really see any path to victory for him.”
In his last four fights, Brown has faced current welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and former middleweight title contender Demian Maia.
When the fight with Ellenberger was announced, many fans felt it could be a contest in which Brown could really showcase his striking ability.
While Brown agrees, he doesn’t believe that the chances of a showcase rest with whom he is facing. For “The Immortal,” he is confident that he could show anyone up in the division. Yet, he does admit that he matches up “a little better” with Ellenberger.
“I think I can shine against anyone. Obviously, Maia was able to stop my attacks, but now, I think I could even shine against him,” Brown said. “Some days things go your way, other days they don’t.
“I think I matchup a little better with Ellenberger, but you can never know with a fight. All I can do is be the best I can be and let things happen the way they’re gonna happen.”
Fans salivated at the thoughts of Brown and Ellenberger facing off, given the likelihood of both men trading shots on the feet. In a matchup featuring two of the gamest welterweights in the world, Brown is confident that he can knock anyone out on his best night.
“A lot of people like to exchange with other guys, but they don’t want to exchange with me. I can remember a lot of times I’ve been confident that my opponents would exchange with me and then they shy away once they get in there,” Brown said. “We’ll have to see how that works out, I really don’t know what’s going to happen.
“If he wants to exchange I’m more than happy to do that. I can knock anyone out. I think I’m the best kickboxer in the 170-pound division, maybe in the whole UFC. I’ll never shy away from that aspect of the game.”
Peter Carroll is a longtime MMA journalist who writes for the Irish Mirror, FIGHTLAND and SevereMMA.com. Follow him on Twitter at @PetesyCarroll