What Brown didn’t hear in the late nights and gossip sessions that inevitably occurred was how intimidating he was. While fighters aren’t a crew that’s easily impressed by the physical capabilities of another man, Brown’s presence was silently felt.

When fellow fighter Jeremy May got bored and put lime juice in Brown’s chewing tobacco, the joke fell flat, and instead of a crew of friends laughing with the prankster, people backed away and shamelessly told the camera, “Matt Brown is a guy you absolutely do not mess with.”

When Brown confronted May, the cackles turned to awkward laughs and the games were brought to a halt.

“I had seen previous seasons of the show and I knew I wasn’t going to be the guy getting picked on,” Brown said. “I had to let them know, I had to put it out there. Jeremy May was the first guy to try something and fortunately I was able to put a stop to that right away.”

Brown went on to defeat May and remove him from the show. Luckily for May, Brown called it even and went back to focusing on his remaining time in the TUF house.

None the wiser to the intimidation he was radiating, Brown doesn’t even recall what his thoughts were while watching the show. The opinions of the other fighters both in and out of the house meant little to him.

“There weren’t any thoughts in my head of, ‘I’m going to walk around like the tough guy’ or anything,” Brown said. “I think I just had a different mindset than most of the people who are just happy to be on the show. For me, I was 1000% focused on doing the best I could every day and not letting stuff get to me.”