A winner on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2019, featherweight T.J. Brown rides a two-fight win streak into UFC Vegas 57 this Saturday.
The UFC’s return to Las Vegas comes after a couple of weeks on the road, and finds Brown paired up with China’s Shayilan Nuerdanbieke.
“This has been a great camp. I spent about four, five weeks down at Glory MMA, now I’m finishing the rest of my camp at West Side MMA,” Brown (16-8) told Cageside Press in a recent exclusive interview. “Everything’s going great, I’m in great shape, weight’s a little ahead of schedule actually— I guess that says how much I’ve been training hard and eating right.”
Brown’s most recent action saw him win a unanimous decision against Charles Rosa back in January. While he would have liked to find the finish, he admits Rosa is a tough customer. The goal, however, is perfection.
“My goal is to go out there and have this perfect performance,” Brown explained. “I want to go out there and perform, get in that flow state or zone, and just really show the world how good I am. And I’m getting a little bit closer to that every time I fight. Every time I fight, everything starts to slow down just a bit more, and everything’s slowing down and the focus is better.”
With that in mind, “I think I’m really working towards showing the world how good I am, and making my way up the rankings by performing better,” Brown continued. “I think I’ve always had the skills and the ability and the work ethic, it’s just getting in there and being able to perform. I’m getting better at that each time I step into the cage.”
Brown signed a new four-fight deal after the Rosa fight, which actually saw him fight out his previous contract. Betting on himself paid off: after starting his UFC run 0-2, he won his next two fights. He’s been rewarded with a lucrative contract that puts him well past what he was earning previously. “I’ll be making more just to show up [at UFC Vegas 57] than I did to show and win the last fight. I’m excited to finally make some good money, and hopefully make some good investments with it.”
Yet while two wins and a new deal brings job security, Brown isn’t sure exactly how much.
“I think in all honesty, nobody’s really that secure in the UFC. They’re cutting people left and right. I’ve always been the type that if you put my back against the wall or you put the pressure on me, I’ve always been able to come out. So maybe a bit of pressure is good, and although yeah I did seal a contract, I still kind of hold a bit of pressure on myself to go out there and perform and perform well. It’s a good thing for me, it really motivates me to train hard and go out there and give it by best.”
“At the same time,” added Brown, “it’s nice to get a new contract.”
Watch our full interview with UFC Vegas 57’s T.J. Brown above. The event takes place this Saturday, June 25 at the Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.