UFC talent search programs like The Ultimate Fighter and Dana White’s Contender Series (DWCS) have turned out a number of ranked fighters and emerging names over the last several years, with many of them earning time in the spotlight and acclaim amongst fans.
Surprisingly, that hasn’t really been the case with Brown, a Lookin’ for a Fight graduate who is tied with Alexandre Pantoja for most victories since the start of 2016 when it comes to competitors that matriculated to the UFC through one of these feeder series.
“Rudeboy” has actually been everything one could hope from in a fighter that was plucked from the regional circuit six fights and 18 months into his professional career. While he’s stumbled at times, the Queens, New York representative has showed tremendous growth over the course of his 13-fight UFC career, amassing a 9-4 record overall while honing his skills and learning to use his length and rangy striking abilities expertly.
The 32-year-old currently resides on the outskirts of the Top 15 at welterweight despite carrying a three-fight winning streak and victories in five of his last six into this weekend’s clash with Francisco Trinaldo. Both his wins and his losses have aged well, as stoppages of Bryan Barberena, Warlley Alves, and Alex Oliveira aren’t easy to come by, and defeats at the hands of Belal Muhammad, Niko Price, and Vicente Luque are nothing to hang your head about, and it feels like only a matter of time before Brown gets the opportunity to test himself against someone with a number next to their name.
A victory over Trinaldo could be what’s needed to make that happen.
The Brazilian veteran remains ultra-competitive in this range, having also won five of his past six assignments, including two straight heading into Saturday’s engagement with Brown. Despite being 44 years old and 36 fights into his career, “Massaranduba” is still durable, powerful, and a dangerous opponent for anyone looking to make headway in the 170-pound ranks.
Brown has been a quality find and a successful developmental story thus far in his UFC career, and with a victory on Saturday, he could become the latest fighter from the promotion’s talent search ventures to land a place in the rankings.