The Immortal Is Back

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His gym in Ohio will allow him to teach the sport and be a part of it for as long as he wants to, but he also knows that being an active participant at the highest level of the game isn’t a lifelong thing. That doesn’t mean he really wanted to give it up after knocking out Diego Sanchez in his most recent bout in November 2017.

“I think I kinda knew that I’d be coming back; I probably should have just worded it as a temporary retirement,” he laughs. “I needed to stop for a little while, but I didn’t imagine myself coming back at 38 years old. I was 36 at the time and 38 seemed old, just like 40 seems old now (Laughs) and two years seems far away. So I did officially retire. I just think somewhere deep inside I knew it wasn’t real, but I had to do it to make it real.”

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In April 2018, the retirement was already supposed to be over, as he was scheduled for a clash with Carlos Condit. A torn ACL put an end to that comeback, and it might have been a sign that retirement was a good idea for the 39-fight veteran, but Brown is just not built that way. Now he had something to prove, and the time off to get healed taught him that maybe blitzing every training session every day wasn’t the way to go. Today, he trains smarter, not harder, and as cliché as that saying might be, it’s worked for him.

“I might feel better now than I have in the past five years,” said Brown, whose meeting with Saunders is one of the most anticipated on a stacked UFC 245 card, primarily because “The Immortal” and “Killa B” are two old school battlers not interested in point fighting. As for it being the perfect fight for Brown’s return, he’s not so sure.

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