Matt “The Immortal” Brown on Training, GSP, and Gardening

Ingo: Today on the show we have the Immortal Matt Brown. Matt, how are you, sir?

MB: I’m’ good man, how you guys doing.

Ingo: Awesome

Matt: Great

Ingo: So obviously we have a lot of fans out there that know you, but for those that do not I have a really particular question to get this going. So in your first fight, you fought kind of like on a whim, or, well, drunk possibly? How did you get started in MMA? It sounds like a really interesting story.

MB: Yeah, well so we went to a fight, so I was there to watch my buddy fight and for whatever reason he didn’t end up fighting, you know I was definitely drunk, I was probably coked up, who knows. I got there and as soon as I saw the cage I was like, ‘I gotta try this sometime,’ and he was like, ‘you can do it right now if you want.’ So I had to pay a few dollars and fill out some piece of paper. Since my friend didn’t end up fighting he let me borrow his cup – which I know is kind of nasty – and I ran across the street to this restaurant to use their microwave to boil the mouthpiece. I came back and fought an hour later. I remember as soon as I came back they had the fighters meeting and matched us up. There were no weigh-in details, just ‘you guys look the same size, so you two fight.’

Ingo: Wow.

MB: Yeah, that was the beginning.

Ingo: What year was this?

MB: I guess 2002, maybe?

Ingo: Wow, yeah, you’ve been in the fight game for a long time.

MB: Yeah, I mean, I did that a couple of times back then, but, I wasn’t training or anything, so I don’t know if you could consider it in the fight game. I figured that I could just win with cocaine I guess.

Matt: Cocaine is one hell of a drug. That’s one kind of strategy, that’s for sure.

Ingo: How was that for your cardio? You’re kind of known nowadays for your cardio, was that helpful back then?

MB: You know, there really weren’t a lot of long fights back then. It was more a lot of brawlers, not a lot of talented guys. No, it wasn’t good for the cardio, I wouldn’t suggest it.

Matt: It wasn’t performance enhancing at that time.

Ingo: Yeah, you’ve had a pretty long career, so, where are you now? Are you training in Ohio or Colorado?

MB: Yeah, I’m out here in Colorado training my balls off, man.

Matt: Are you out there training at Grudge?

MB: I have been going to Grudge, but we have the Elevation Fight Team, it’s sort of a new thing out here, just all of the guys who have been training out here. Everybody goes a little bit of everywhere, so we just call it the Elevation Fight Team.

Matt: I’d seen in an interview where you were training with the Cuban National team for four weeks and you said like you learned more in those four weeks than you probably learned in your whole career, how so?

MB: The Cuban Wrestlers and Boxers are probably some of the best in the world, I’ve never seen that level of expertise before in either sport. I mean, actually there were some guys that were in the Olympics for wrestling, but the way that the Cubans train is different. It’s more technical, relaxed and calm, so I learned a lot more. The American style of wrestling is a lot more hardcore, grinding, you know, I don’t necessarily learn as much. I don’t want to take anything away from any American wrestlers that I go with, but a different style.

Matt: I actually saw that you were in Japan recently, what was that like?

MB: We were over there visiting the troops, just doing a tour of the different bases over there. It was awesome, all of the guys were really receptive. Got to roll around with them, got to see what they do on a daily basis. It was an awesome experience.

Ingo: So you really like to mix it up, it sounds like you are traveling all over, from Ohio to Colorado to Japan, is there a favorite place that you like to train?

MB: My favorite place is Colorado, that’s why I’m here.

Ingo: Do you live there now, in Colorado?

MB: Nah, I’m just here training for this fight and I look forward to getting back home after this.

Matt: I saw something on your Facebook, these twins of two and a half year old boys and they are in a little octagon or trampoline going at it. Where did you get that, or did you build it yourself?

MB: Nah, I just bought it for like 120 bucks.

Matt: That thing is sweet, man.

MB: Yeah, it’s bad ass, you know, it’s just a little trampoline that’s coincidentally shaped like an octagon. The boys get in there and they don’t want to jump, they just want to fight. I guess it’s just natural for them.

Matt: Have you started training them already?

MB: Nah, I don’t even try to teach them anything. I don’t think that kids should really be taught too much at that age, I let them have fun and learn some things on their own, but I don’t want to push them into something. What’s funny about that video is that it actually got removed from YouTube, it was flagged as inappropriate.

Ingo: Yeah, they do that to a lot of things. We’ve had our troubles, but we believe that there isn’t a person on the other end, but just a robot that has a button and removes videos. That’s too bad that it got removed as I was planning on actually showing it while we’re talking about it. What’s it like being a dad? I figure it’s gotta be tough for a guy like you, being away from them for an extended time, or do you take them with you?

MB: You know, they do come out and visit when I’m gone. They’ll be here for two weeks starting next week, but it’s really hard, man. You know there is nothing I’d rather do than be home with my kids and my family, so it’s really difficult. You know, if I get that title or whatever it’s going to be worth it for them, but it could go a lot of different ways.

Matt: So for younger kids that are starting out in the sport, what do you think is the best way to get started, focus on one thing or do all aspects of MMA?

MB: Man, I don’t know. I think the obvious is having a base in wrestling is the best that you can do for kids. Look at someone like Chris Weidman, you know, he’s a great wrestler. It took him a couple of years and at ten fights he’s a champion. Obviously the base in wrestling is going to do more than anything else. I guess it depends on what age. By the time you are a teenager you’ll probably know if you’re going to excel at wrestling or not.

Matt: Speaking of the Anderson Silva/Chris Weidman fight, well one did you see it, which you probably did, but what are your thoughts on that fight?

MB: Just crazy, man. I think that Jon Jones said it best, Anderson has a gift, but we didn’t get to find out if Weidman is really better or not than him. You know, half of it was Weidman taking advantage of Anderson.

Ingo: There’s a lot of rumors and people have their tinfoil hats on. From a fighter’s perspective was there anything weird about that fight or was it just a matter of one guy clowned around and one guy caught him or what?

MB: It’s just a matter of… Anderson does this every fight, he didn’t do anything different, you know Weidman just caught him, which other guys weren’t able to do.

Matt: You might be the guy that has had the most changes to his fights as possible, you were scheduled to fight Thiago Alves and now you are going to fight Mike Pyle now, which is screaming Fight of the Night like fucking crazy, I think that it’s probably a harder fight than the Alves fight now, what are your thoughts on this?

MB: You know, it is what it is. Change of opponents is nothing new to me, though. You can’t sit around and bitch about it, you just gotta do what you gotta do. They are both tough fights in their own way, just two different fights that you have to adapt to in their own way.

Matt: Yeah, it seems like you guys are on a collision course as you are both on four-fight win streaks, both on a resurgence. What I love about watching you fight is you have that killer instinct, and you go at them berserker style, going for broke. Is there just a switch in your head that snaps off? I heard Dan Hardy talk about it, saying he switches to a reptilian style and he just goes for it, is that what happens to you when you are fighting?

MB: I mean, ideally that is how you are the whole fight, you don’t want to be thinking about anything, to have a clear mind and just simply react or be proactive and not have to think about what you are doing. I don’t know, I guess that when it comes to finishing guys I guess it/s just natural for me. I don’t really have any idea, I don’t think about it too much, I don’t put emphasis on it, it just comes out that way.

Ingo: One of the reasons that we went out of our way to contact you is that you are one of our favorite fighters and we appreciate guys who put it on the line, like yourself. I have another question, actually. There has to be a difference between yourself now and yourself a year ago. You had a lot of adversity to overcome; is there something that you are doing differently now versus before? Like is that the reason for your success.

MB: Not necessarily, no. There are a few things, I guess, I focus a lot more on wrestling now, I’m trying to move back to Columbus, I work at Westside Barbell, some of the strongest guys around. A lot more focus on my wrestling, but other than that, to be quite honest, I don’t try to make any excuses for my losses, I just equate it to myself going through hard times in my life, big changes, a lot of adversity in my life. I didn’t deal with my life issues properly. There are a lot of guys who go through the same kind of stuff as I did and they just dealt with it properly, you know? I don’t look for any sympathy or anything, I just look back and say that I didn’t deal with it properly. Now my mindset is stronger than it was then, I’ve matured since then and learned from my mistakes and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.

Matt: I see that you are quite the farmer over there, you are posting some huge ass zucchini pictures up on twitter. Are those things legal, on fucking PEDs or what?

MB: Hah, no, those things are all natural, bro.

Matt: Nice, that’s beautiful.

MB: What a lot of people realize is that they can get that big, you’re supposed to pick it before it gets that big, as it doesn’t taste as good when they are that big.

Matt: So what else is growing in the Matt Brown “Immortal” garden over there?

MB: Four different kinds of peppers, watermelons, cherries, four different kinds of cabbage, cucumbers, it’s a smaller garden.

Matt: I’ve tried growing some stuff here, inside and it’s just, we’re in Chicago and we try to do it outdoors and the squirrels eat my shit. So I try to go inside and it just doesn’t work out.

MB: There are actually ways around that.

Ingo: Is that your thing, like a hobby on the side that you like to do is cultivate plants?

MB: Yeah, I like just about anything that has to do with nature, dirt and being outside. One of the things that I’m trying to do is get my garden good enough and get my wife good enough so we can do it year round and have fresh vegetables year round. No better ones than the ones that come out of your back yard.

Ingo: So on the topic of off topic, I saw this video of you pranking some people, was that you? It looked like you, anyway. It was like some dude going around pretending like he was going to beat someone up for sleeping with his wife or something?

MB: Yeah that was me and Roman Atwood, he puts out these prank videos all of the time. He gets over a million hits with each one. He does these all of the time. It was Roman Atwood, Tom Made and Dennis Rodey.

Matt: Were there any outtakes? It looked like someone was going to pull a gun on you at some point?

MB: Yeah there was one guy that was kinda threatening us, but it was obvious that he wasn’t going to do anything.

Ingo: That’s pretty brave on your part as a professional athlete, it just seems a little bit scary. I don’t know if Dana saw that stuff, but with guys not riding motorcycles, it might be the next thing, don’t prank people.

MB: I could see it, who knows what they’ll do next.

Matt: Videogames, do you play any, or is it something you like?

MB: Man, I played a lot before I had kids.

Ingo: Amen to that, we feel ya.

MB: I use to stay up until 3 or 4 in the morning, all of the Battlefields up to BF2, up until I had kids. I was a big Call of Duty player, but mainly Battlefield, that was my game.

Matt: Xbox or PlayStation?

MB: PlayStation, I don’t like paying to go online.

Ingo: You’re going to have to start if you get a new one, everyone is on a level playing field now. Both camps are going to charge.

MB: That’s alright, I pretty much only use it for Netflix anymore.

Ingo: Yeah, especially with kids, that’s one of the best services to have for them. I have a more serious question, I read an interview where you were talking about GSP. I like reading interviews where guys talk about the champ and that they should be in there with the champ. It really sounds like you think that Georges St. Pierre can be beaten in many ways, and is especially a bad matchup for you.

MB: You pretty much said it right there. I think that I’m a bad matchup for him right there. I think that I have harder matchups getting to him than I do beating him. I think like Mike Pyle is a harder fight than GSP, so is Thiago Alves. I think that all of guys that are standing in line in Welterweight, lots of tough guys in the division. I think that there are other guys in the division who could beat him, they just can’t get up to him. I think that Kampmann would be an awful matchup for him, but he can’t get there. That’s because we are in a tough division. A lot of it is the way that the game goes.

Ingo: Why do you think that the last few years, that guys get there, they get to Georges and they just stall, all of the time. Is it the lights or pressure?

Matt: It’s the aliens, Ingo. The aliens.

Ingo: I’m not sure if you are aware, but he’s afraid of aliens. Maybe you’re an alien and that’s a major weapon.

MB: I heard something about that, I don’t read the news that much, but I remember that. I don’t know, maybe it’s the pressure of the championship fight. GSP is definitely a good wrestler and able to stall guys out with his wrestling. I don’t know what happens to guys. He’s good, no doubt about it, he’s able to more or less stall the fight until he gets a victory. I feel he wouldn’t be able to do that with me.

Matt: Keeping with MMA, are there any rule changes you’d like to see? 12-6 elbows, knees to a grounded opponent?

MB: I’d like to see both changed. I’d love to do those elbows and knees I’d be fine with. I’d love to see unlimited time, I understand why they don’t do it, it doesn’t really make sense, but I’d like to fight like that myself. I’d rather see it be as pure as possible with the least amount of rules as feasible.

Matt: I hear that, respect that. I gotta ask this one, would you ever consider moving up to 185lbs to fight Michael Bisping for me?

MB: I’ve considered it before, it’s hard for me to make 170. Those guys are huge, I wish that there was a 175, 176, which would be more ideal.

Matt: The weight cutting in MMA is just such a factor, you look at these guys, the most extreme example, Anthony Rumble Johnson. He was cutting 50 to get to 170. What’s the average cut for you, 20ish?

MB: It depends if you count the whole camp or just water. I’m just walking around, not training, I can be up to 195. When I’m training it’s 186, 187. Hard dieting I can get to 183.

Ingo: We’re going to take some fan questions and let you go.

Matt: Frank Fleming, one of our fans wants to know what your biggest UFC moment thus far is and if anyone in the UFC has ducked you thus far.

MB: Biggest moment, that’s a tough one. Probably when I fought Pete Sell, it was in my hometown and it was a big, good win. Maybe also when I fought James Wilks, my dad passed away during that training camp, so it was pretty emotional for me. Every fight is a big moment, so you could definitely find a reason for each one to be the biggest one. Do I think anyone is ducking me? No idea.

Matt: Rory MacDonald? That’s the rumor out there.

Ingo: GSP is ducking you, right?

MB: hah, I don’t know, you guys, hard to say.

Matt: Andrew Peterson wants to know how bad you were hurt when Jordan Mein punched you in the liver.

MB: I was hurt pretty damned bad. I didn’t find out until after the fight, two weeks after I found out that I cracked my rib. He hit me right where I had cracked it, I didn’t even want to get it x-rayed before the fight, I didn’t want to know. Maybe he cracked my rib, I don’t know, it was definitely hurt before. I don’t know if you’ve ever been punched in a cracked rib.

Matt: No, I don’t have one and I don’t want one.

Ingo: I’ve been punched in a non-cracked rib and I did not like it. So I imagine that a cracked one would be even worse.

MB: Yeah, it sucked.

Matt: So Max, one of our fans, has a comment. ‘How awesome is that, the first time that I saw Matt was on TUF and since then he’s one of my favorite fighters, tell him that I wish that half of the UFC roster would fight with that kind of heart and madness that he brings to each fight. Lots of respect to Matt “The Immortal” Brown.’ Then Jared Holt, ‘Matt Brown you are a beast, love your work.’ Then Justin Carter, ‘What motivates Matt Brown to go balls to the wall every time?’

MB: What motivates me? I guess just that there’s a guy standing across from me wanting to take my head off.

Ingo: Matt, before we let you go is there anybody that you want to mention or thank, I know that you probably have sponsors, anything you want to get out there before we say goodbye?

MB: Follow me on Twitter, @IamTheImmortal, Facebook I have a personal page or a fan page, either one, I don’t care. Sponsors, you know, Cage Fighter, Xynergy. At Large Nutrition. Shit, I’m sure there is something that I’m missing.

Ingo: You can always get it to us later. Thank you so much for coming on the show, you are definitely one of our favorite fighters. We appreciate all of the work that you put in.

Matt: Wish you luck, just keep it up.

MB: Oh yeah, one thing that I always forget, my own clothing line,