UFC Welterweight Randy Brown is Learning on the Job | Calls Out Alan Jouban & Neil Magny
Randy Brown is a UFC Welterweight fighter last seen picking up a win over Mickey Gall at UFC 217 in November at Madison Square Garden. Following that win, “Touch N Go” is looking to get back into the octagon this spring and to land some big fights in route to a campaign towards the top 15 by the years end. In an exclusive interview with MMA-Today, Brown sat down and talked with us about his growth inside the octagon, who he wants to fight next, as well as his tentative schedule for 2018.
You picked up a big win over Mickey Gall at UFC 217, regarded as the biggest PPV event of 2017. Can you take me through that victory and how it felt to bounce back from the loss to Belal Muhammad?
It felt great man, it felt great. It was one of those things where, you know. I had to get the job done. Mickey is a good guy, I take nothing away from him. He’s very talented on the ground but I truly felt he wasn’t on my level so I had to go in there and represent. Represent for the guys who got it from the mud, you know what I mean? The guys who really had to put work in.
We’ve seen fighters come off of Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight series and generate tremendous buzz. Guys like Sage Northcutt, Paige VanZant, Mickey Gall and yourself. Do you feel there’s added pressure going into fights knowing you’ve had that spotlight on you?
Maybe a little bit, but I try not to let it bother me. I’d say I’m on the lower end of that haha. Those guys are all huge stars, everyone knows about them. Me? I don’t think as many people know about me but they will. But as of right now, I don’t feel I need to worry. I don’t have quite as much pressure. People aren’t looking at me under a magnifying glass the same way they’re looking at guys like Sage and those guys. I’m content flying under the radar for right now. I’ll walk right by them while they sleep.
You reside in the greater New York area and the UFC is currently putting together in Brooklyn for UFC 223. Do you have any interest in fighting on this card? If not, when would you like to make a return to the cage?
I actually wanted to get on that Brooklyn card, but some things came up that won’t allow me to do so. Right now, I’m taking some time to figure some stuff out but I’m anxious to get back and looking to return sometime in the spring.
You’ve had 12 professional fights so far, half of those being in the UFC. You’re sort of growing up as a fighter in the midst of competing in the premier fight organization of the world. What do you feel is the next step in terms of your career progression? What do you feel you need to work on the most?
Everything, you know? My all-around game. I’m constantly trying to get better at everything. I’m trying to be the best in the world one day so my thing is on the job learning. That’s what my coach calls it. I’m picking a lot of things up as I’m going and I’m growing and getting better like you said. I feel like no one has really seen even a little bit of what I’m actually capable of you know? So, I’m just growing man, getting that ring experience. I’ve done some things in the gym that makes people say “oh my goodness” and I’ve just never really gotten the chance to translate it into any of my fights in the UFC and I think that’s because of my inexperience just trying to learn and get comfortable in the octagon but it’s coming. That’s why I always feel I’ll have that undertone of confidence. People look past me at times but I’m always super confident. I know what I’m capable of and my team knows what I’m capable of. I’m comfortable in there, so I’m ready to get out there and show the world.
We’ve seen you win in a multitude of ways, whether it be KO/TKO, submission, etc. What do you feel at the moment is the strongest aspect of your game whether it be your striking, wrestling, BJJ, etc..
I’d say my striking. That’s where I started, I started off striking and it’s my first love. I think that it’s been one of my strong suits my entire career. Everyone has always wanted to take me down. I’m very comfortable on the feet and I think that’s my strong point as of right now. Everyone dives on my legs, it gets pretty annoying!
Do you have any opponents in mind for your return?
So many guys I’d like to fight. I want to fight anyone in the top 15 really, I just want to get my name out there and show the world what I’m capable of. I’d like a fight with Alan Jouban. I really want that fight. I’d also like a fight with Neil Magny, I think those would both be great fights. Someone that actually wants to fight you know what I mean? The last fight I fought real strategically. I saw some criticism for choosing to grapple with Mickey and looking back, I probably should have kept it on the feet, I probably could have gotten the knockout but he got under my skin a bit and it made me want to grapple with him and show him that I’m not afraid of his grappling you know what I mean? But I would prefer my next fight to be a stand-up fight to have a bit more fun.
How many times are you hoping to fight in 2018 and do you see yourself breaking into the top 15 sometime this year?
This year I want to fight at least three times. If it was up to me, every year would be like 2016 where I fought back-to-back, at least four times in a calendar year. As of right now, I’d like to get at least three in. Possible two just to space them out a bit and improve at bigger rates. Like I said I’m on the job learning. Learning as I’m going and I think I need time in between to absorb the knowledge. In a perfect world, I’d like to fight as often as possible but I’ve got a lot of room to grow.