By Steve Craig
BOSTON - Mike Brown probably could have accepted a loss. But one like this? To get knocked out in 50 seconds in his first mixed martial arts fight in New England in nine years?
"It's heart-breaking, man. It's like I wasn't even in a fight," said Brown, 37 and originally of Standish, after losing Saturday in an undercard match on UFC Fight Night 26 at TD Garden.
Steven Siler, 26, landed a fight-changing uppercut as Brown, the former World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight champ, missed with an overhand right from too far away.
The uppercut "was probably the best punch I've ever thrown," Siler said. "We planned on him coming in hard all the time with the overhand to the takedown. We knew he was going to do it.
"I just tried to make sure I timed it right."
The punch dropped Brown. Siler jumped to the attack.
For a moment, Brown appeared to kick his way out trouble.
Siler came back on him and landed a chopping right that rolled Brown's eyes back and left him defenseless, causing the referee to quickly stop the fight.
"I just wanted to pound his head until he went out," said the boyish-looking Siler, now 5-1 in the UFC and 23-10 overall. "He was out. I definitely saw his eyes roll back in his head."
Brown was able to quickly get up and at first disputed the stoppage. Two hours later he said the decision was the right one.
Brown (26-9) had not fought for 15 months since a unanimous decision win against Daniel Pineda. At that point, he seriously contemplated retirement.
But he traveled from Florida where he's lived since 2005, confident in his abilities. He was a significant crowd favorite in Boston.
"It's been nine years since I fought in Massachusetts. It was so awesome to be here. I had so many friends and family and I really loved the matchup. I think I'm a much better fighter (than Siler). I thought I was going to win," Brown said.
Brown said he always thought one more loss would be his signal to retire. The suddenness of Saturday's loss made him less certain.
"I'm not sure. I don't want to make any quick decisions," Brown said. "It was a flash knockout. I wasn't even in a fight."
Brown is now 2-4 in the UFC, having won his two previous fights. He has four fights left on a contractual agreement with UFC, but none are guaranteed.
"I think they'll have me back if I want to be back," Brown said. "I've been here for a long time. I've held the belt before and I think I have a good relationship with (the UFC)."
Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or at: