Matt Brown's reason for wanting Damien Maia fight perfectly encapsulates why he's so popular
How could you be a martial arts fan and not love Matt Brown?
The number six-ranked welterweight is a true martial artist in every sense of the word. He's got the skill set, the mindset and that constant desire to for self improvement that makes him one of the most popular fighters on the UFC roster.
Brown knows all about facing adversity. After going 1-4 in in 2010/2011 and coming close to being handed his pink slip, Brown went on the rampage clocking up seven straight wins to earn a title eliminator against Robbie Lawler. Ruthless ended up winning via unanimous decision en route to becoming champion, but Brown has remained in the top 10 and faces the jiu-jitsu master Demian Maia at UFC 198 on Saturday.
A match-up against Maia is currently where welterweight win-streaks go to die, as nobody has managed to beat the Brazilian since Rory MacDonald got the judges' decision in a stellar war at UFC 170 in February 2014. Since then, Maia has racked up four consecutive wins, defeating the likes of Ryan LaFlare, Gunnar Nelson and Neil Magny.
Very few people are calling out the grappling master, but when Brown was offered the fight, he accepted it without hesitation, as he told MMA Fighting.
"I chose this over the other opportunities because this is the biggest mountain for me to climb. This is the toughest stylistically, historically the worst match-up for me. I want to turn that into being the best match-up for me. I want to challenge myself to the largest extent possible."
This fighter's mentality extends as far as his gameplan for the momentous task of taking on Maia. Brown is not fearful of his opponent's slick submission skills. In his mind, it's a fight, and that's exactly what he's going to make of it.
"Of course anyone can be submitted, I have the ability to submit him, but I'm going in there to fight him - top, bottom, left, right, punch, kick, grapple, submit - I'm coming to fight."