Browne: Lewis Fight “Is Personal”
Travis Browne has had a tough run of late, especially given his promise as a future elite heavyweight a few years back. Coming off back-to-back losses where he performed dreadfully, Browne looks to rebound against Derrick Lewis at UFC 208 in Brooklyn. Lewis, Browne says, made this fight personal.
Lewis is riding a five-fight winning streak compared to Browne’s two-fight skid, but “The Black Beast” looked unimpressive in a TKO victory over Shamil Abdurakhimov earlier this month. He said he intended to call Browne out after the fight, but he was too frustrated with his own showing to do so.
Now that Browne is scheduled to fight Lewis in February, he told ESPN that he takes Lewis’s semi-callout as a personal dig.
“He’s looking up and down the top 10 for the easiest fight and choosing my name,” Browne said. “I don’t know how much more personal it gets than that. I’m not usually one to talk trash, and I do respect him as a fighter, but you want to test yourself, buddy? I’m your man. I’ll show you what this sh*t is all about up here.”
Browne last fought Fabricio Werdum at UFC 203 in September. In a bizarre fight that saw Browne suffer a finger injury in the first round, he struggled to get anything going and was outclassed by Werdum throughout the bout. Previously, he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Cain Velasquez at UFC 200 in July.
“It’s time to use what I’ve learned but still incorporate more of my game,” Browne said. “Whatever strikes I need to throw, I need to let them go. I remember in the Cain fight, I was thinking, ‘I should throw a kick, I should throw a kick’, and I just didn’t.”
Browne, 34, has had a bad year in and out of the cage. However, he believes that his best days are ahead of him and he is still growing as a fighter.
“I didn’t come from wrestling. I didn’t come from boxing or kickboxing. These are my growing pains and you’re seeing me develop on the biggest stage against the best of the best. I feel the best is yet to come. Keep doubting me. I will give you something to be upset about if you doubt me.”
Browne faces Derrick Lewis at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, New York on Feb. 11, 2017.