Junie Browning will always be remembered as one of the most controversial cast members in the history of “The Ultimate Fighter.” From destroying parts of the house to trying to fight numerous cast members and scaling the Octagon to get at Efrain Escudero, the 24-year old Kentucky native seemed to add some life to this season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Hate him or love him, Browning makes no bones about who he is and his future intentions in the UFC.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com had the chance to speak with Browning following his semifinal elimination loss to house rival Escudero and get his thoughts on going after Shane Primm; the fight with Escudero; Frank Mir as a coach; the bouts between the finalists; and more.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you feel like you were looking for a way out of the house when you got into it with Shane Primm or was it more that you just got angry and reacted?
Junie Browning: I was more or less just pissed off but the simple fact that I didn’t want to fight helped me not think of the consequences. I was at a point where I didn’t really care. It wouldn’t have bothered me if they kicked me off because I knew I was out of shape and shouldn’t have been fighting.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So what are your thoughts looking back on your fight with Efrain?
Junie Browning: It was horrible. I looked like [expletive]. I fought horribly. I felt like the longer I was on the show the worse I was getting.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Why did you feel like you were getting worse as the show went on?
Junie Browning: People don’t want to train and wack cardio. People say “Well you can do your own cardio” but I don’t think that’s possible. I feel like you can only push yourself so far without someone being there to push you cardio wise. There was nobody there to do that for us. After my second fight I hurt my foot and I couldn’t train for like a week and a half, two weeks but they didn’t show that on there.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So you were left trying to play catch up with your training?
Junie Browning: Yeah, big time.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Were you surprised with Efrain’s willingness to stand and trade with you?
Junie Browning: No, I think he knew I was out of shape and he was going to try to push the cardio. It was his best chance to try to show that he had some stand up. It was smart of him. He knew i was out of shape. I couldn’t push the pace or anything. I was watching the show and you could even hear his corner saying “Oh he’s tired, he’s tired” and he would get even more psyched the more tired I got. He knows if I was 100% that he wouldn’t be able to do any of that stuff?
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you feel like you were really caught in that D’arce choke or that it was more from fatigue?
Junie Browning: I was really caught but I should never let it get to that point. I was so out of shape. The submissions that I would normally just fight out of or muscle out of, at that point I was so tired I think I would have gotten caught in just about anything. I was so tired that I don’t think I had the intestinal fortitude to fight or anything. I just wasn’t making anything happen on the bottom. I was just laying there being lazy in my guard. I wasn’t trying to get my guard back as much as I should have. You should never go into a fight out of shape and I knew it was going to be like that too. I feel like if I couldn’t beat him in the first round then I couldn’t beat him at all.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Is that why you went for that takedown for so long in the first?
Junie Browning: In my mind I felt like I had to take him down. I felt like if I didn’t take him down that he would end up on top and either get a submission or I would just gas out. The takedown made me even more tired. I felt like I could take him down but I started getting lazy with the takedown. When I went for singles I just sat there instead of attacking the other leg.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Are you going to be interested in a rematch with Efrain at some point?
Junie Browning: I would fight him tomorrow. I would rematch him in the gym. It would be a first rounder for sure. I know for sure. It was a horrible fight for me. I don’t normally fight like that. I normally push the pace and fight hard. I was concentrating on not getting tired and that’s never a good way to fight. You shouldn’t be worrying about your cardio. I don’t make excuses up, I fought horrible and that’s just part of the game. I should have been prepared. I’d be prepared to fight him tomorrow now.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you feel like you were let down by some of the guys for not training with you enough?
Junie Browning: Not really Shane Nelson but the rest of the lightweights, yeah. I felt really disappointed and that they were lazy but I’ll pay them back for that next Saturday.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you feel like Frank Mir gave you the training you expected?
Junie Browning: Not at all. I didn’t necessarily expect him to be training one-on-one that much because I know he has stuff to do but I expected him to at least bring people in. He brought in Joe Stevenson once and that was awesome training but that was once. I should have been getting that kind of training every day.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How do you feel about Frank Mir’s decision to stop shouting out advice towards the end of the fight?
Junie Browning: The funny thing is, he gives up on me like he was disappointed but he was never there to train with me to begin with. How am I going to listen to my corner when he was never there for me to begin with?
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What about when he said he liked everyone on his team except for you?
Junie Browning: I saw that coming. I figured that. he doesn’t say anything all season and then as soon as I lose and make him look bad then he doesn’t like me.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So who do you see coming out on top between Mir and Nogueira?
Junie Browning: If Mir treats his training the way he did on the show then I definitely see Nogueira winning. If Mir actually trains I think he’s a little more athletic so he could do good so I don’t know how I see that one going. From what I saw from Frank on the show I could see Nogueira winning just based on conditioning and heart. I don’t know if that’s necessarily how he is now but based on how he trained on the show I couldn’t see him beating too many people right now. I don’t see that Brock Lesnar fight going the same if he continues to train like he did on the show.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: How about Ryan Bader and Vinny Magalhaes?
Junie Browning: I see Vinny winning by submission. Bader pretty much does the same thing to everybody. Unless Bader can beat Vinny standing. It’s hard to take Vinny down and hold him. His jiu-jitsu is on a whole other level. I see him train every day. The first time at practice with Xtreme Couture he put Forrest Griffin in a flying armbar like three times. His jiu-jitsu is really sick. There’s no way Bader is just going to be able to hook him down like he did Elliot. Vinny’s submissions are just way too good. Even if Vinny doesn’t submit him there’s no way that Bader will be able to just lay on him.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What about Phillipe Nover and Efrain Escudero?
Junie Browning: I’d say Phillipe if it stays standing but if Efrain takes him down I could see Efrain winning a decision. The whole determining factor on that fight will be takedowns.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So were you ever serious about retiring or were you just frustrated and venting at the time?
Junie Browning: I was just pissed. They do that confessional immediately after the fight so after I went home I had time to think about it and realized that it wasn’t my 100%. I can’t quit. Especially when I know that I didn’t give it my all. I never want to leave the sport knowing that I didn’t do my best. I’ll never quit.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Do you feel like you were accurately depicted on the show or do you think the editing made you seem a little more hostile than you really are?
Junie Browning: No, I’m pretty much crazy. It doesn’t matter. I’m good now and I’m not getting into any trouble. Not everybody can be the good guy.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: So if you had the chance to do it all over again, would you?
Junie Browning: Yeah, I would just do things differently. I would have been more prepared and tried to get on the other team.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: What does the future hold for you?
Junie Browning: People will see next Saturday.
FiveOuncesOfPain.com: Anyone you would like to thank?
Junie Browning: TapouT and Denaro Sports Marketing.