Heading into UFC 185, one bout has perhaps been overshadowed more than any other by the two title fights headlining the card: the key welterweight match-up between Matt Brown and former champion Johny Hendricks.

Hendricks is seeking a quick turnaround for another bout against Robbie Lawler, who just topped Hendricks for the title this past December. In fact, Hendricks vs. Lawler III had originally been expected, but with Lawler opting to take some extra time off, and now meeting Rory MacDonald in the summer, Hendricks found himself paired up against Brown, a man Lawler himself previously stopped.

For Brown, this is a big shot at redemption. The loss to Lawler derailed a remarkable seven fight win streak in the UFC, and caused some to question just where he stood among the elite of the UFC’s welterweight division. With that in mind, there are some key questions that remain in regards to Brown.

Can He Overcome Outside Distractions?

Heading into UFC 185, Matt “The Immortal” Brown found himself embroiled in scandal. A former friend and coach accused him of assault, and word of the situation soon spread like wildfire across social media. This past week, the prosecutor handling the case in Ohio dropped it, and a public information officer indicated there was a lack of evidence, according to a report by MMA Junkie. That’s good news for Brown, but the question is, did this distraction have any impact on his training and preparation for UFC 185?

Can He Handle the Wrestling of Hendricks

Lets face it, Matt Brown is known for some exciting stand-up wars. He’s a crowd pleaser, a fan favorite, and that’s for good reason: he comes to fight, he likes to swing, and more often than not, he wins those exchanges. However, against Johny Hendricks, he faces a celebrated wrestler who also happens to have one-punch knockout power. Hendricks may have fallen in love with his own version of the H-bomb, but he will rely on his wrestling just as much. How will Brown fare? He’ll need to have worked extensively on takedown defence to really succeed against a wrestler of Hendrick’s calibre.

Was the Lawler Loss An Aberration? Can Brown Really Compete with the Best?

The big question surrounding Matt Brown at UFC 185 is whether his loss to Lawler was just a case of the better man winning that night, or whether he has hit a ceiling in the welterweight division. It’s hard to believe that a fighter who had a seven fight win streak in the UFC isn’t among the best of the best, but the fact is, the division is star studded, and prior to Lawler, Brown really hadn’t faced anyone in the top five of the division. In fact, none of Brown’s seven victims during that streak are even in the top fifteen in the UFC welterweight division currently, and that is problematic.

While Brown’s style is crowd-pleasing, has he been built up into something he isn’t?

We’ll find out Saturday night.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.