We’ve just been informed of an incredible welterweight booking between two of the toughest, most violent talents on the UFC roster, a bout between Matt ‘The Immortal’ Brown and Bryan ‘Bam Bam’ Barberena.
They are to step into the octagon on December 4, 2o21, at UFC Fight Night 199, with a still to be determined headliner. We do however know Jimmy Crute will be facing Jamahal Hill at this event, Brendan Allen will be facing Brad Tavares, and a pair of world kickboxing champions Brad Riddell and Rafael Fiziev will go at it on this night as well.
This bout between Matt Brown and Bryan Barberena is the perfect match up to throw onto this already exciting lineup.
We first got notice of ‘The Immortal’ off of The Ultimate Fighter 7, where he came onto the show with a record of 9-6.
One of those victories, believe it or not, came over future multi-time Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima via TKO, a fight he won a title in. He was also coming off a submission defeat to Chris Lytle.
Brown had also lost to Pete Spratt via unanimous decision in just his third professional bout, while Spratt had 23 fights at the time and was just coming off a defeat to Josh Koscheck himself.
You see, his record may have been lackluster, but he was fighting some tough competition at times.
After going 2-1 on the show, losing to season winner Amir Sadollah, Brown would find initial success within the UFC, going 4-1 over his first five bouts.
All four of those victories came via finish, and the only defeat came to undefeated Dong Hyun Kim via split decision, a very close fight he honestly could’ve gotten the nod in.
This improved his record to 13-7, before the rolls were reversed on him.
Now, over the coarse of his next five fights, he’d win a single one, and he’d lose four. Not only that, but his one victory came via unanimous decision, a very close fight against John Howard, and all four defeats came via submission.
Something clearly had to be done, and Brown made the adjustment, as he won his next seven straight with six knockouts.
This included defeating some of the likes of Stephen Thompson (UD), Mike Swick (KO), Jordan Mein (TKO), Mike Pyle (KO), and Erick Silva (TKO).
This put Brown right at the top of the division, right up until future champion Robbie Lawler, and former champion Johny Hendricks would defeat him, both via unanimous decision.
Brown then submitted (guillotine choke) Tim Means, before being submitted (rear naked choke) by Demian Maia. He did last up until the last 30 seconds of that fight with Maia though, improvements were definitely being made.
However, this was this 14th career defeat, and his 10th via submission.
Next came the first knockout defeat of Brown’s career, as Jake Ellenberger, and then Donald Cerrone finished him off back-to-back.
Two KO victories would follow over the likes of Diego Sanchez and Ben Saunders, before Brown was finished by Miguel Baeza (TKO). He then lost a unanimous decision to former WEC & interim UFC welterweight champion Carlos Condit, before rebounding in June with a KO victory over Dhiego Lima.
Interesting, Brown has now knocked out both Lima brothers..
We first got notice of ‘Bam Bam’ about six years later than Brown, where he’d defeat Joe Ellenberger via TKO in his UFC debut. He’d lose his next fight to Chad Laprise, before rebounding with surprising victories over Sage Northcutt (arm-triangle choke) and Warlley Alves (UD), before being set back by Colby Covington.
Since this, Barberena has gone 3-4, securing a knockout victory over Jake Ellenberger in the best of those wins, and losing to Leon Edwards (UD), Vicente Luque (TKO), Randy Brown (TKO), and Jason Witt (MD).
As you see, ‘Bam Bam’ has fought the No. 1 & No. 2 ranked contenders at 170 lbs, one of which is a former, then-future interim champion that’s fighting for the belt again a month prior to this at UFC 268.
Notice also, Barberena, like Brown, fought a set of brothers, and he, like Brown, knocked them both out.
That’s super interesting.
Brown knocked Douglas Lima out in 2007, and he just knocked Dhiego out earlier this year; Barberena knocked out Joe Ellenberger in 2014, and then Jake in 2018.
Both men have had a bit of a rough go lately, with Brown going 5-7 in his last 12 and Barberena going 3-5 in his last eight, but this is going to be as entertaining of a fight as it gets.
These two are both pure brawlers, and they both have good ground games, as well as seemingly endless gas tanks.
How do you see this one playing out?
If you enjoyed this piece, please feel free to share it on social media!
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.