The sport of mixed martial arts is all about first impressions. And it’s all about what happened in a fighter’s last appearance. For a fighter, like it or not, their skills in their trade are being judged by thousands of fans who, in an instant, can deal a crushing blow to a fighter’s career.

For the overwhelming majority of fans, an entertaining loss can be forgiven. A three-round, back-and-forth fight with high points throughout will allow them to salivate for the next time the unsuccessful fighter gets their chance for redemption.

Damien Brown may have come out unsuccessful in his Cage Warriors debut, but he knows that he at least won over some new fans. He plans to do the exact same thing when his chance at redemption comes.

“I’m excited to get back in there,” Brown admitted in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I think that the nerves are all done now and, I don’t know, when you look at the fight, I think it’s a pretty hard one to judge. He got the win, but I still showed up to fight. No matter what happens in there, you can be sure that I am turning up to put on a show, and that’s exactly what I am gonna do in Ireland.”

When Brown touches down in Ireland for his March 1 bout at Cage Warriors 65, it will mark the fifth different country in which Brown has competed over the course of a three-and-a-half-year period as a professional mixed martial artist. It’s something that he embraces. The lightweight competitor enjoys being able to put on entertaining fights all over the world.

“It’s exciting to fight in another new country again,” said Brown, who faces Paul Redmond at the event. “I am getting to do what I love and see new parts of the world. That’s the thing I really love about Cage Warriors, is that they truly are an international show. I know that they can take me places I never really would have got the chance to go before and they will introduce my fighting style to fans all around the world.”

A sore point for a lot of fighters—not just in Australia, but on a worldwide scale—is the amount of support that is available from sponsors. Even fighters competing on the biggest stages in the sport can find it difficult to secure an additional line of income from sponsors. Despite the fact that Brown is flying the Australian flag overseas, it still doesn’t translate into the support of extra sponsors.

“It’s pretty tough in Australia, and I know it’s not that much better in other places too,” Brown admitted. “I’ve had some pretty good sponsors help me out, but it’s a full-time thing. If you wanna be able to train and do this 100 percent, you’ve gotta have the backing from people. I love the sport and I love getting in there and fighting, but you’ve gotta be able to support yourself and your family, too. I know we’ll get there eventually, but at the same time I think there’s a lot that Aussie fighters who compete internationally can offer sponsors.”

Training out of Australia’s premier gym, Integrated MMA in Stafford, Brisbane, Brown has no shortage of quality training partners. With many of the his closest friends, who make up the gym’s professional fight team, also competing on the international stage, everyone in the team knows what it takes to represent the rest of the team in the best way that they can.

“We’ve got such a dedicated team at Integrated,” Brown said. “Everybody is out there to get the best out of each other. We have some of the best coaches in Australia, and there are a lot of us that are now starting to represent the gym—and Australia—on a global level. I want to go in and do my gym proud. And I know that win, lose or draw, I will always have their support as long as I give it my all.”

Brown has experienced what it is like to lose multiple fights in a row. It’s an experience he would rather not repeat.

“I’m getting back to the winning ways, that’s for sure,” Brown exclaimed. “[Redmond is] coming off a loss, too, so we are both gonna be looking to get back to winning ways. He’s fighting at home, so there is a lot more pressure on him. I think that he’s a good match for me. He’s never seen the scorecards in his professional career, and that’s gonna make for an exciting fight. Expect some ‘Beatdown’ slams, and expect the crowd to enjoy this fight no matter how it plays out.”

Sometimes in the sport of mixed martial arts, it’s the losses that a fighter can remember the most—how it all happened, what could have been done to overcome it, or what it meant for them to be in the cage on that night. Brown had a lot riding on his Cage Warriors debut. Impressing a new employer was at the forefront of his mind. Impressing a crowd of new potential fans in Ireland is going to be an even tougher task, but he has set this as his new goal. A victory coming hand-in-hand with that will certainly be a bonus.

Damien would like to thank ASN Chermside, Again Faster Equipment, Rocktape Australia, Prodigy Fit, Integrated MMA, Marc Fiore and his wife. Follow Brown on Twitter: @Beatdown_Brown

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.