Damien Brown has been busy putting in work in the fight game and beyond recently.
The 34-year-old Aussie submitted Daron Cruickshank at Rizin 14 in the waning hours of 2018 and has been busy ever since.
UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 is this Saturday!
Stream every fight live on ESPN+ starting from 10 pm ET.
- Main event: Poirier vs. McGregor 2
- Co-main event: Hooker vs. Chandler
“Beatdown” realizes this fight game isn’t going to last forever, and this new gym is Brown’s way of securing a future beyond competition.
With eyes on his future, Brown is also looking to provide a place for the members of his community to improve themselves physically and mentally. As a veteran of the Australian Army, Damien is familiar with the benefits of martial arts on body and mind and hopes to provide an outlet for those with PTSD and other mental illnesses.
“I used to be a physical training instructor in the Army,” Brown explained to The Body Lock.
“I’ve worked in rehab units, and stuff like that and I’ve always wanted my own place. I feel like fitness is an outlet for so many people, especially people who struggle with a mental illness or post-traumatic stress. I’ve always felt like physical fitness, and more importantly, martial arts and jiujitsu are just massive for feeling like a bit of freedom… I’m hoping to get like a lot of emergency services and soldiers and just general people that have some issues with anxiety, post-traumatic stresses and just need an outlet and a place to go where no one judges.”
According to their Facebook page, Base Training Centre’s grand opening takes place on April 27, but before then, Brown will look to take down undefeated Koji Takeda at Rizin 15.
Round 2 in ‘Rizin’
Rizin 15 will be Brown’s second fight with the promotion, and his second fight since parting ways with the UFC. He is coming off the biggest win of his career after upsetting striking specialist Daron Cruickshank at Rizin 14. Brown was able to weather the storm of “The Detroit Superstar” and submit him at just over the four-minute mark.
It won’t get any easier for “Beatdown” as his next bout puts him against the 23-year-old, undefeated DEEP champion, Koji Takeda in his home country.
If any of those factors worry Brown, he certainly isn’t letting on.
“It doesn’t matter who it is. I’m a fighter,” Brown calmly explained.
“There are lots of guys out there would say ‘oh, you know, he’s 8-0, but he’s never fought outside of Japan. He’s never fought for a massive international promotion. He’s never fought anyone that’s not Japanese,’ plenty of people would make up these excuses. But the way I see it is, I’m on the last fight of my contract. I only signed a two-fight deal. I’m going to go out there. I’m going to take this kid’s ‘0’ like it’s just another fight.”
If that attitude surprises you, you may need to get to know Brown a little better.
The 34-year-old Aussie made himself a fan favorite on the back of his all-action, “never back down” fighting style. He hopes that another win, mixed with his already fan-friendly style will help endear him to the Japanese audience and Rizin officials, leading to a spot in this year’s Lightweight Grand Prix.
“I’ll just fight, and when the tournament comes up, hopefully with a win in this one, they kinda can’t not put me in it,” Brown explained.
“I’m sure they’re gonna put Cruickshank in it, and I just beat him. If I go and beat an undefeated Japanese guy, then I think I kinda have to get my spot.”
With his eyes on the future and a new-found success in Japan, Damien Brown seems more motivated than ever. That is a scary proposition for future opponents.
A 29-year-old paralegal by day, but I rather write. MMA nut since '04.