For nine-year MMA veteran Damien Brown, hand-to-hand combat was always about finding freedom. A former infantryman in the Australian army who was deployed in Afghanistan and returned home with post-traumatic stress disorder, the man who now goes by the moniker “Beatdown” found solace in kickboxing and Brazilian jiu-jitsu as he struggled to transition back into life as a civilian. What started as an escape mechanism soon evolved into a burning passion, with Brown turning pro as an MMA fighter in 2010, eventually signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship six years later. He represented his home country of Australia over a two-and-a-half year stretch where he posted a 3-4 record, including a “Fight of the Night” winning performance against Frank Camacho in Sydney. Today, now he’s one of the lightweight division’s most intriguing free agents.
Fresh off of two consecutive victories under Japan’s Rizin FF banner — a scintillating come-from-behind submission victory over fellow UFC alum Daron Cruikshank on New Year’s Eve and a unanimous decision over then-undefeated Koji Takeda — Brown is currently in the process of locking down his next promotional home, and caught up with Sherdog.com to talk about what comes next. In a wide-ranging interview, which occurred while Brown was driving to the Gold Coast’s Eternal 46 event last weekend, Brown talked about his career highs and lows, the opening of his new gym, continuing to work in the corrections system as a prison guard and the state of the 155-pound division outside the UFC.
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