Making a shift in weight divisions is a big decision that a fighter has to make. When it’s a move down, they have to be confident that they can make the weight limit and still be the same strong, fast and confident fighter. On the other hand, with a move up, it’s more about whether they can compete with athletes who are physically stronger and naturally bigger.

Damien “Beatdown” Brown is making the former change when he steps into the cage on June 29 for Adrenalin: Unleashed against Scott MacGregor, and he is ready for a test like no other.

“The end goal is for me to go to the [United] States to fight,” he revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “The lightweights over there are a lot bigger. They are cutting some decent weight to make lightweight. I wanted to get some fight experience at featherweight before I went over next month, and since I have never missed weight I thought I’d give it a shot. I know I can get there, but I know it’s going to be hard.”

Brown (top) works for a submission (Legend FC)

Having a new target for weight has meant a new schedule for Brown. A set routine that a fighter follows in the lead up to a fight can often be a hard habit to break. However, Brown knows what he is capable of and is confident that he has been able to adapt.

“Three weeks out from the fight, I’d made 70 kilos [156 pounds], so I was tracking pretty well,” he revealed. “I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t comfortable with the cut, but it hasn’t been as pleasant as my usual cut [laughs].”

In his fights, Brown is well-known for his trademark slams, and even in a loss, it is something that he always seems to showcase for the fans in attendance. It’s not something that he goes in there to achieve, but any chance he gets, he will always try to be the entertaining fighter.

“I know that I will lose a little bit of my strength because of the cut. I’m not going in there expecting to throw him around or anything though,” he admitted. “Scott has a strong wrestling base. When he fought Ev Ting, he dominated him until Ev got his back. [MacGregor] also fought Dan Hooker and threw him around a bit, which is not an easy thing to do, so I’m not going in there expecting that I will throw him anywhere.”

With promotions now putting on events every other week in Australia, there were many choices for when Brown would make his debut at featherweight. The one that best suited his timeline was on the Adrenalin: Unleashed event in Brown’s current hometown of Brisbane.

“It was about which show could get me an opponent before July, when I fly out,” he explained. “This was the best timing for me so that I could take a fight and then start with some more training. It was the earliest I wanted to fight, and I wanted a challenging fight for my first one at featherweight. I know the promoter looked hard for an opponent, so I am happy with what I have in front of me.”

Brown (R) throws a right hand (Legend FC)

In 2012, Brown only fought three times, so 2013 has certainly started off as a more active year for him.

“This is my third fight for the year, so after this I am looking forward to spending some time with my wife,” he said. “She’s been great. Her support is always awesome. She just kind of sits back and lets me do my thing. After a small break, I will get straight back into training hard again, and if the right fight comes up, I will of course take it.”

The Adrenalin: Unleashed event marks the first time in a little over 12 months that Brown has been able to fight in his hometown of Brisbane. Besides his BRACE fight with Rob Hill in Sydney, it’s not too often that Brown even finds himself fighting in Australia, let alone the city that he lives in.

“It’s both good and bad,” he admitted. “I do like being able to fight in front of friends and family, but at the same time I kind of like having the fight week to myself so I can just focus on the fight. It’s always good to give those close to me an entertaining fight to watch, but it can add a bit of pressure too.”

As with any new challenge, some risks are involved. Having just come off a loss with Legend FC, Brown is conscious of the fact that entering a new weight division means that he needs to walk out with a win, especially if he wants to chase the dream that all professional fighters have of being a breakout star in the lucrative market of North America.

Damien would like to thank his sponsors: Rocktape Australia, Prodigy Fit, Australian Sports Nutrition and Again Faster Equipment. He would also like to thank all his training partners at Integrated MMA and Crossfit Mitchelton, along with his coaches: Adrian Pang, Dan Higgins and Steve Compton. Follow Damien on Twitter: @beatdown_brown

Top Photo: Damien Brown (L) (Legend FC)

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.