UFC heavyweight Travis Browne was on an impressive run in the Octagon when he suffered a leg injury and subsequent knockout loss during an October outing against Antonio Silva. However, “Hapa” is back to full health and ready to rumble again, taking to the infamous eight-sided cage this weekend where he’ll face Gabriel Gonzaga at the Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale.
Browne recently spoke with the UFC’s website where he said the loss – his first – hasn’t affected his preparation or expectations when it comes to the fight with Gonzaga.
“I never worried about my zero. At the end of the day, when that cage door closes, it’s one man against another, and the one thing that this sport will teach you is that records don’t matter,” explained Browne. “Someone is leaving with a loss. Fighters that focus on that kind of stuff, if you’re worried about that, it shows that you have a chink in your armor. When you’re an athlete at the top level of this sport, and especially in this sport, you know that momentum means very little because it only takes one shot to change the momentum of any fight. And I think anybody at our level knows that.”
The 13-1-1 Browne went on to point to his go at Gonzaga as a perfect example of why his previous statement rings true, as “Napao” has won three straight entering the affair including submissions in each victory despite being cut by the UFC prior to the streak.
“I see a very dangerous Gabriel. He’s back in old form, and when I say that I don’t mean a one-dimensional Gabriel where he’s just a grappler, or when he tried to come out and just stand up with people. He’s come out with a great understanding of the stand-up game, but he’s getting back to his roots in the jiu-jitsu and submitting them. But he’s using his stand-up in order to get people to the ground. He makes them respect his stand-up and then he takes them down and he submits him,” said browne. “That’s what he should have been doing a long time ago. But the fight game’s funny like that; it will trick you into thinking certain things and I think he’s just as dangerous now as he ever has been before.”
Gonzaga has finished all fourteen of the opponents he’s beaten. Comparably, Browne has eleven stoppages to his credit. Fans can catch them squaring off on Saturday night during the main card on FX.
Photo: Paul Abell – USA Today Sports