TJ Brown is a UFC Featherweight fighting out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Over the span of the last 10 years “Downtown” Brown has acquired an impressive 10-0 record as an amateur and a 14-7 record against top-tier opponents as a pro, earning him a ticket to Dana White’s Contender Series where he won via submission in the third round.
Since then he has made his debut at UFC Norfolk, putting on a world class performance against Jordan Griffin but ultimately getting caught with a guillotine late in the second round. While he feels as if he’s proved he belongs on the biggest stage in MMA, the loss didn’t sit well with Brown.
“Dominating the fight like that and then getting caught like that, it’s such a heartbreaking feeling, “ he confided.
Brown went on to elaborate about the experience and the predicament that COVID-19 has left him in since making his debut, stating “Corona has affected gyms all across the country and really stalled my fight plans. Coming off my last fight I really felt like I had something to prove to myself and UFC fans around the world, so I was ready for a quick turn around. So I’m really excited to hear they have a location (maybe on a private island) for upcoming fights which will give me a chance to perform like I know I can and bring a W back home.”
Brown is one of many Arkansas prospects to make it to the UFC in recent years. He says he feels like Arkansas has always been a hotbed for MMA talent and accredits recent successes to the fact that there’s better MMA programs that have been developed such as the one at Westside MMA as well as better exposure in the UFC for small town guys such as himself. He feels the only thing that separates his gym and the more well-known gyms across the country is the amount of high level sparring partners they have which is why he implements a lot of cross training in his training.
While Brown can’t currently teach the classes he normally would at Westside MMA, he still teaches privates to supplement his income and spends his days preparing for when he can return to competing alongside fellow UFC featherweight Bryce “Thugnasty” Mitchell. Brown wants to set an example to everyone around him, but most importantly his son, through his determination and hard work.
The Arkansas native is eager to return to the octagon and says he hopes to open up more his next fight stating “I was fighting the ‘safe’” fight in my last one and while it’s not wrong it’s not me. I want to let my hands go mix it up and be the exciting fighter that got me here in the first place.”
Cameron Pollard is a freelance writer and WMMA competitor from Memphis, Tennessee, who is passionate about telling in-depth, fighter conscious stories.