By Ryan McKinnon
The co-main event of UFC 206 in Toronto pits Donald ʻCowboyʼ Cerrone against
Matt ʻThe Immortalʼ Brown. This fight has bonus check written all over it. Cerrone is a
natural fight finisher, while Brown is tied with Matt Hughes for most finishes in the
promotionʼs welterweight division with 11. Neither fighter is scared to throw hard leather
and both have the fight IQ and technical ability to get the job done. Based on some of
the media scrums that have aired, there appears to be some distaste from Brown
towards Cowboy, which only adds more intensity to a fight that already promises
Matt Brown is sensational to watch. He truly embodies the spirit of a gladiator
because he fights as if itʼs his last day on earth. He is easily one of the toughest fighters
this sport has ever seen. Brown can weather a storm only to turn the tide against his
opponent, and score a KO. Recently he has fought the toughest welterweights in the
UFC. Unfortunately, heʼs only garnered one win out of his past 5 fights. This doesnʼt
necessarily mean heʼs out of the mix. Fighting Cerrone is a perfect opportunity to greet
a relative newcomer to 170 lbs with a KO punch, and show the UFC matchmakers that
he still has the intensity and passion to step into the cage and beat any opponent.
Adding UFC veteran Duane ʻBangʼ Ludwig as his striking coach is a brilliant move on
As for Cerrone, this matchup is a lot more realistic and exciting than his previous
matchup against Gastelum. Brown is taller and holds a 3” reach advantage, and has
experience fighting top calibre fighters in the division. Beating Brown proves that he can
hang with any veteran welterweight. The problem Cerrone may face is Brownʼs
durability. If Cerrone isnʼt careful with his gas tank, Brown will take advantage of any
Brownʼs last fight in July against Ellenberger is a great fight to study for a few
reasons. First, the body kick that dropped Brown is one of Cerroneʼs most effective
striking techniques. Cowboy kicks hard and frequently. Doing so will negate The
Immortalʼs reach advantage, and force him to take a risk by closing the distance.
Cerrone also needs to observe that after Brown was dropped early in the first round by
an overhand right, he managed to gut it out and get back to his feet, which is something
that most fighterʼs canʼt do after an Ellenberger punch. Cerrone must respect that it will
take more than a 1-2 combination to end Brownʼs night.
It is also important to note that Brown lacks submission defense. 9 of his 15
losses have been via submission. This may be Cerroneʼs best weapon against Brown.
In terms of high percentage opportunities, Cerrone can minimize risk by putting himself
in opportunities to submit Brown. One of the ways to do this is by using his kicks to lure
Brown into a takedown attempt. Once the distance has been closed, Cerrone has
multiple angles from which to mount a submission attack. Cerrone can also wait for
Brown to get aggressive, which shouldnʼt take long. He is known for his mauling attack
style and his use of elbows, which requires him to fight in close. When Brown gets
overly aggressive, Cerrone can come under the attack and score a takedown of his
own, putting himself in an advantageous position for a submission. However, this
strategy can also be an advantage to Brown who enjoys infighting. Under the tutelage of
Ludwig, we may expect Brownʼs clinch and elbows to be the best weʼve ever seen.
Cerrone needs to stay calm in the clinch, and wait for the right time to either secure a
takedown or create distance.
This fight is a great test for both men and will require a degree of patience on
both sides of the octagon. In this sport, one mistake will end your night, and this is
especially the case with these two killers. Brown must be aware of Cerroneʼs explosive
and somewhat unpredictable striking, while Cerrone mustn’t get too anxious in his
attempt to finish The Immortal too soon. Regardless, this fight guarantees pure
entertainment for the fans.