The fact is, violence is not only not a beautiful thing, but it's also very painful and not without consequences for the perpetrator, as well as the victim. --Clint Eastwood
If you stand in front of him, Matt Brown will knock you the fuck out.
Or in some near-death cases, like that of resilient Brazilian punching bag Erick Silva, he'll play whack-a-mole with your dome until you think your name is "Diane" and you're a waitress from Indiana.
That's the kind of violence you can expect from an "Immortal" fight, evidenced by seven consecutive wins, capped off with six finishes by way of knockout/technical knockout. In the new-look UFC, where title shots are doled out to the flavor of the month, I'm compelled to pen hate mail to matchmaker Joe Silva, opening with something to the effect of, "What the fuck are you waiting for?"
I'm a fan, and I get angry like that.
But I'm also not without reason. And every time I get ready to anoint Brown as the baddest motherfucker to ever throw hands at 170 pounds, I stumble over that imaginary shoe that always seems to be in my way. It hasn't dropped just yet, but dammit, it's there.
Just ask Seth Baczynski, who probably watched the "Immortal" rise to power and wondered what all the fuss was about.
That's the cold, hard reality as we head into UFC on FOX 12, which takes place this Saturday night (July 26, 2014) inside the SAP Center in San Jose, California. Waiting for Brown in the network-televised main event will be the equally-terrifying Robbie Lawler, who has the strength of a gorilla and the precision of a sniper.
Expect to be hit -- a lot -- when you throw down with the "Ruthless" one.
I've heard a lot of yammering from the mixed martial arts (MMA) fan base about Lawler being "reborn" at welterweight, after a hot-and-cold run at 185 pounds. The more likely scenario is that he's always been this terrific, but traded in consistency for a free ride to the scale.
He's now fighting in his proper weight class and the results speak for themselves.
But like his predecessors, Lawler provides the kind of fight that allows Brown to keep his shortcomings tucked away until a later date. While it's certainly within his capabilities, there is no chance "Ruthless" is going to turn this into a five-round wrestling match, because fuck you, my hands are better than yours.
Cerebral compression notwithstanding, there's nothing wrong with a little machismo in combat sports.
That's where the shoe comes in.
It's not outrageous to think Brown could triumph this weekend in "The Capital of Silicon Valley," and you wouldn't hear a peep from anyone if "Immortal" was granted a title shot. But what happens against an Olympian like Hector Lombard, or a mat rat like Johny Hendricks?
Or complete fighters like Carlos Condit and Rory MacDonald? Finding out will likely be half the fun.
I'm all aboard the Matt Brown hype train, no doubt about it, but I can't stop myself from wondering if I should get off at the next stop. Fair-weather fan? Maybe. But regardless if I stick around or cut bait and sail, I can say without pause that I've definitely enjoyed the ride.
It's guys like Brown who make UFC fun again.