Video: UFC on FX 5 headliner Travis Browne embracing dark-horse status

Posted: August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

It’s not often a punch to the gut comes outside the cage for a guy such as Travis Browne.

But that’s precisely what happened when the 30-year-old Hawaiian received the news his UFC on FOX 4 opponent Ben Rothwell was forced off the Aug. 4 card due to injury and that there would be no replacement.

His disappointment didn’t last long. UFC officials tried their best to make it up to him by granting him his first headlining role.

Browne (13-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) and Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (16-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) sit atop the main card of “UFC on FX 5: Browne vs. Bigfoot.” The event takes place Oct. 6 at Minneapolis’ Target Center. Main-card action airs on FX following prelims on FUEL TV.

“I’ve done pretty much three camps back to back to back,” Browne told Radio ( “I’m (finally) getting there.”

Consecutive wins over Stefan Struve, Rob Broughton and Chad Griggs have “Hapa” riding a tidal wave into the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

Conversely, “Bigfoot” looks to right the ship following back-to-back losses to Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. Despite the lack of recent success, he remains a credible heavyweight test, and one Browne must ace to remain in the proverbial “mix.”

“He’s (Silva) a super tough guy, and he’s beaten some guys that were former champions,” said Browne, referring to Fedor Emelianenko, Andrei Arlovski and Ricco Rodriguez. “In this sport, though, it’s not about what you’ve done in the past. It’s about what you’re doing now. I feel like I’m in that zone.”

Listen to Browne speak about his craft for only five minutes, and it’s clear he’s in a good place. His enthusiasm for training and furthering his development day in and day out at Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in New Mexico is more than apparent.

“Everything is starting to come to a point with me where both my physical and mental aspects of my game are really starting to come together,” he said. “I think since the beginning of this year, I’ve really found my true motivation and why I’m doing this. And (I’m) getting back to the roots of why I wanted to become an athlete in the first place.

“I think I’ve finally found it, and that’s really pushing me to do what I’ve done.”

A win over Silva would further his upward trajectory toward the top tier of the division. Browne is right there, but not quite. He’s at the door waiting for permission to kick it in.

“It’s fun to be a part of it (elite company) and to be at that point in my career,” he said. “I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at. All the hard work is really starting to show off now.”

The current makeup of the heavyweight division starts with champion Junior Dos Santos, who rematches Velasquez on Dec. 29. Alistair Overeem remains suspended and waiting in the wings for a title shot. Cormier faces Frank Mir under the Strikeforce banner on Oct. 27. Fabricio Werdum and his two-fight win streak are lurking. Then come guys such as Browne and a host of others.

“There’s starting to become a buzz around me, but also I feel like I still have to go out there and prove myself,” Browne said. “That’s where I’m at, I feel, in the heavyweight race. But at the same time, you give me a shot (at top contenders), and I’m ready to go.

“I think in the heavyweight division, I’m kind of like the dark horse.”

For more on UFC on FX 5, stay tuned to the Rumors section of the site. Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to


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