Matt Brown shocked the world on Thursday when he announced that he would retire from the sport of mixed martial arts following his upcoming fight against Diego Sanchez on Nov. 11 at UFC Fight Night in Virginia.
The veteran welterweight contender has been out of action since last December, but booking the fight against Sanchez seemed like the perfect welcome back to the Octagon with both fighters having a reputation for putting on some of the most exciting fights in the UFC.
Brown absolutely plans on living up to that reputation one last time, but he says retirement has been lurking in the back of his mind for a while and now he just felt was the right time to pull the trigger.
“I literally just put it up yesterday but it’s crossed my mind a million times,” Brown told the “Loper and Randi Show” in his native Columbus, OH on Friday. “I think in just about every training camp like what the hell am I [doing this for], especially somewhere right in the middle to the end of training camp. It’s just your body’s beat up and you’re tired and it’s like what the hell am I doing? This is crazy. This is the last time I’m doing this.
“This time I’ve been feeling that a little too much and I really just made the decision yesterday. I can’t keep thinking about it forever. If it’s going to be on my mind, I might as well just go ahead and do it.”
Of course, Brown is staying focused on the task at hand because he wants to end his career on a victory against Sanchez on Nov. 11 but then he’ll be ready to put his attention towards another goal in his life.
“I just feel like I’m ready to move onto the next thing,” Brown said. “I’m not as excited about fighting as I once was, like it doesn’t spark that fire that it used to. I don’t have that same hunger that I used to. I took close to a year off, almost a year when I actually fight that I’ve taken off and I thought maybe that would re-energize the fire or whatever. That was kind of the motivation for taking the time off. I was like I need to get that fire back and I guess it just didn’t come back as much as I thought it would.
“I think I’m a smart enough person that I don’t need to hold myself to just one career for too long. When I’m bored of it I can move on and I can be successful in whatever venture I go onto next.”
Just because Brown is retiring from his own mixed martial arts career doesn’t mean his contributions to the sport are finished.
Brown has shown interest in coaching before and he had already previously started his own line of workout equipment called “Immortal Combat Equipment” after working as a personal strength and conditioning trainer prior to his mixed martial arts career.
The former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor knows there’s plenty he can do away from focusing on his own fight career and he’s excited to pay attention to something else after Nov. 11 is finished.
“What I really want to do is go do bigger, better and greater things that aren’t just about me,” Brown explained. “Right now, it’s about you’ve been so great and we love being on the ride watching you but I’d like to give back.
“I want to do something just as amazing but not necessarily about me.”