Travis Browne was one win away from competing for the UFC heavyweight title.
Now, with a new coach and a new road laid out before him, Browne will try to work his way back into contention starting at UFC 181 against Brendan Schaub.
A long-time student of Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn in New Mexico, Browne (16-2-1) recently aligned himself with Edmond Tarverdyan, Ronda Rousey’s striking coach.
“I saw Ronda come through and how much she’s grown as a fighter and as a striker,” said Browne, in a recent interview with MMAjunkie.com. “That was my deciding factor and that’s what I needed in my arsenal. I sought him out. I saw what I needed and he was the man to do it.”
Browne had put together a three-fight win streak – all via finishes – before running into Fabricio Werdum this past April. After a loss in 2012 to Antonio Silva, he recovered from an injury and stopped Gabriel Gonzaga, former Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem and ex-UFC titleholder Josh Barnett – all in the first round.
Now, with the skills of Tarverdyan added to his arsenal, “Hapa” feels things are coming together for a run at the title.
“I do (have the tools to beat Velasquez),” he said. “I’m developing those tools as we speak. This is my road. This is my journey and I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m glad I lost to a person like Werdum. I’m getting better every day.”