Matt Brown Discusses Dustin Poirier’s UFC Misunderstanding & Shares Past Negotiation Details

Matt Brown, a UFC fighter, expressed confusion over fellow fighter Dustin Poirier‘s statement that he “couldn’t come to terms” with the UFC on a fight contract, stating that in his own experience, the UFC sets the terms and fighters simply sign the contract.

Matt Brown, a UFC veteran, is puzzled. He’s scratching his head over Dustin Poirier’s recent contract dispute with the UFC. Poirier’s claim that he “couldn’t come to terms” with the UFC left Brown a bit baffled.

Just last week, Poirier announced his UFC 299 fight was off. He cited “no contractual agreement” for a fight against Benoit Saint Denis. Later that day, Poirier issued a second statement. He called the whole thing a “misunderstanding,” saying it was all cleared up after a call with his manager and UFC’s chief business officer, Hunter Campbell.

Brown, with nearly 16 years in the UFC, is a seasoned fighter. He’s one of the few with more tenure than Poirier. Yet, even he’s unsure about what went down.

“Dustin was saying, ‘We didn’t come to terms.’ What does that mean?” Brown pondered on the latest episode of The Fighter vs. The Writer. “They just set the terms and you just sign the contract and go.”

Brown’s approach has always been straightforward. The UFC asks if he wants to fight someone, and he says yes. He’s never really negotiated or asked for a different opponent. That’s just not his style.

He’s always been content with how the UFC has treated him. The pay, the opponents, the events – everything’s been fine. So, when he hears about not coming to terms, he’s left wondering. The terms are simple, he says. You’re going to fight a guy on this date, so go do it.

Brown’s experience with the UFC might be different from other fighters. He’s never had a combative relationship with the promotion throughout his career.

He’s never really had to fight with the UFC over pay, opponents, or events. There was only one time he felt the need to discuss his contract details. And that negotiation with UFC CEO Dana White was anything but heated.

“I probably should have negotiated more than I have,” Brown admitted with a laugh. “I can only speak to my own personal experience here. When they have offered me a new contract, I said, ‘Thank you, let’s go. Who am I going to fight?’ I never really negotiated that either. Maybe I should have. Maybe in retrospect I should have, but I never did. I’ve always just been happy to fight.”

Brown recalls one time he discussed his contract with Dana White. He walked into Dana’s office, they chatted, and when it came to negotiating, Dana asked, ‘How much do you want?’ Brown gave him a number. Dana said, ‘OK, let’s do it.’ Brown now thinks he probably should have asked for more. But at the time, he felt he got his worth. It was pretty simple.

During his UFC tenure, Brown never had a situation where the promotion announced one of his fights prematurely. That’s mostly because he’s never turned down an opponent or raised any issues after receiving a bout agreement.

However, there was one time when he jumped the gun. He announced a fight he signed nearly a decade ago that wasn’t actually a done deal. That did come back to bite him.

“I was supposed to fight Nate Diaz one time and I had posted that I signed the contract, and I got in trouble for doing that because he had not signed yet,” Brown recalled. “Obviously, he never ended up signing. But that kind of threw me off a little bit.”

Brown can’t remember the exact timing for the fight. He estimates it was offered to him sometime between 2013 and 2015, before Diaz choked out Conor McGregor and became one of the biggest stars in the sport.

Later, Brown found out that Diaz didn’t just turn down a fight against him or ask for more money but didn’t get it. Instead, Diaz didn’t like the idea of fighting him out of respect.

“First, I want make sure no one out there says, ‘Oh, he was f****** scared!’ I don’t believe that for one second,” Brown said of Diaz. “I don’t remember if I talked to him or Nick [Diaz] or a friend of theirs, but basically they don’t want to fight people that they like, and they like me. So I think that’s all it came down to, respect to him.”

Back then, Diaz wasn’t as big of a name as he is now. If he was, Brown would probably have pushed a little harder for that fight. But at the time, it was like, ‘We don’t like fighting people we like,’ OK, I’ll fight the next guy.

That’s the same philosophy Brown has carried throughout his career. So, he doesn’t quite understand what the “misunderstanding” was with Poirier and the UFC. But he’s certainly never experienced that himself.

“When we talk about negotiating terms with the UFC, you don’t really negotiate,” Brown said. “They have the power. It’s like, ‘You don’t like our terms? Well then go to f****** Bellator.’ But I want to fight the best guys. ‘Well, OK, fight in the UFC.’ But I want more money. ‘Well, this is what we’re going to pay you, buddy.’ It’s a little bit of a catch-22 there.”

“I just don’t really ask questions. They send me the contract, I sign it. If they want to switch the guy up, OK. If that guy doesn’t sign, whatever. Give me a date, give me a place, and let’s f****** put somebody in there.”

You can catch new episodes of The Fighter vs. The Writer every Tuesday. Audio-only versions of the podcast are available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and iHeartRadio.


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