Former WEC featherweight champion Mike Thomas Brown is readying himself to climb back up the featherweight ladder after posting a knockout loss to current number one contender Manvel Gamburyan back at WEC 48 in April. Brown will take on 6-1 Cole Province this Thursday night at WEC 51, the same event where Gamburyan fights for the title shot he earned by knocking out Brown. Brown appeared on the Sherdog Radio Network’s Savage Dog Show recently to discuss his mindset heading into the bout and to offer his thoughts on Province as an opponent.
“I’m ready to go,” Brown said. “I’m about as excited as I can be at this time. I’ve got to get the weight down a little bit, and then I’ll cruise to the finish line.”
Prior to losing his belt to red-hot Jose Aldo back in November of 2009, Brown had gone on a tear in the WEC’s featherweight division that included two wins over poster boy and former champion Urijah Faber. Brown revealed to Sherdog that he saw his loss as an eventual inevitability, stating that no one can remain undefeated in the dynamic sport of MMA.
“I’ve always been motivated and never have had a going-through-the-motions attitude,” said Brown. “I knew [the Aldo loss] could happen. If you fight long enough against tough guys, it’s going to happen. Nobody goes undefeated in this sport. I was bummed, but I knew I just needed to put a winning streak together to get back there. It’s part of the sport.”
Brown is hoping to pick up a win over tough national wrestling champion Cole Province in order to begin rebuilding his winning streak, but the American Top Team product knows he needs to stay sharp against the less experienced fighter.
“[Province] is a high-level wrestler with a short career so far,” Brown said. “He’s only had eight fights, with one loss. He’s tough. His only loss is a decision to [world-ranked featherweight] Diego Nunes [at WEC 37 in December 2008]. He’s no joke and is a good athlete.”
Province only has seven fights on his official record because one of his matches (against Freidson Peixao at WEC 42) was overturned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission after he tested positive for performance enhancing drugs. As far as Province’s history (however short or disputed) of PED usage goes, Brown doesn’t see it as posing a big problem come fight night.
“[Using PEDs] probably can help you, but I’m not sure how much they can,” said Brown. “You can’t put on too much muscle or you won’t make weight. It’s more appealing for heavyweights since they can put on 20-30 pounds without missing weight, but for lighter-weight guys, it’s more dangerous. I’m not concerned. He has to make the weight, and if he gets too big, he can’t make the weight.”
WEC 51 takes place this Thursday night from the 1stBank Center in Broomfield, Colorado and will air live on the Versus network. The fight card will feature a featherweight title fight between champ Jose Aldo and challenger Manny Gamburyan.