WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Travis Browne opened up for the first time Tuesday about domestic violence allegations levied against him last year by his ex-wife.
The UFC heavyweight became very emotional and was almost brought to tears during a UFC 200 media lunch here when discussing the accusations made by Jenna Webb last July.
Browne has repeatedly denied hitting Webb and an investigation done by the UFC’s law firm Campbell & Williams last summer didn’t find anything conclusive. Browne was reinstated by the promotion in August.
Webb posted photos of her injuries on Instagram last July. She never pressed charges against Browne, saying on social media that she did not want to affect Browne’s job or have his children taken away from him.
“Honestly, I feel a little betrayed,” Browne said, holding back tears. “If those are your reasons for lying, but then you don’t press charges, you don’t try to do things the right way. If any of you guys were here beating your wife and you have two kids, I swear to God, I will f*ck you up. And I would take your kids and take them from you.”
Browne, 33, said he felt like the media were unfair to him following the allegations and still doesn’t understand why Webb didn’t have to answer for the things she said.
“Why do I have to do all the talking?” Browne said. “All these places — TMZ and that stuff — ran stuff and not a single person asked questions. I’m a 6-foot-7, 250-pound man. I have two little boys at home and if I did the things I was accused of, you want those two boys being raised by me? Why wouldn’t you want them in my home? Why would you want me to have my career if that’s the kind of man I am?”
The Hawaii native, who is now dating UFC star Ronda Rousey, has made denials in written statements, but has not addressed Webb’s accusations publicly face to face until now. Browne believes he did the right thing by not speaking about it previously.
“It was hard to listen, to see what people were saying about me,” he said. “But at the same time, I know what I did and what I didn’t do. And I was able to sleep at night — no problem.
“This was the first time I’ve really talked to any media. I took myself out of it, because my way of dealing with this was living my life and being happy. The people that are around me understand what kind of man that I am. That’s what I did.”
Browne felt like he was demonized by fans on social media and does not believe the press did its job correctly in reporting the situation.
“A gripe of mine that honestly — and all you guys are with the media — is that nobody questioned her,” Browne said. “Everybody put their eyes on me. Everybody made stories on me. And when I was reinstated, that was the only headline: ‘Travis Browne was reinstated.’ And I’ll be honest. You guys as media kind of let me down. I’ll say that in that sense, because we’re all being professional. That’s what let me down.”
“Hapa” said that the investigation done by Campbell & Williams was thorough. They went through his phones, downloaded all the data and scrutinized it. Browne said that he was told there wasn’t much cooperation from Webb’s side.
“It wasn’t a legal investigation,” Browne said. “I couldn’t be like, ‘Oh, talk to my lawyer.’ It was like, ‘So this is where we’re at.’ They said this is gonna be tougher than going through the legal process, because there’s nothing to cover my butt. There’s no laws. You want your job? You have to volunteer, because somebody made up lies about you.”
Browne believes he found Rousey at exactly the right time. Rousey was there for him while he was going through being accused of domestic abuse, while Rousey has credited Browne for being her saving grace after she was knocked out by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in November.
“We were there for each other when we needed it the most,” Browne said. “When we felt like everybody was against us, when everybody was trying to knock us down, we were there for each other.”
Browne returned to the Octagon and defeated Matt Mitrione via third-round TKO in January. He’ll be back against Cain Velasquez in a pivotal fight at UFC 200 on July 9 in Las Vegas. Browne is trying to move on from the events of last summer, though he understands he’ll continue to get asked about it during the promotional process.
“They don’t see what goes on behind closed doors,” Browne said of fans and the media. “I’ve been open until last summer when again I felt like I was done wrong, like I wasn’t given my shot. I don’t know. I’ve just gotta go out there and live my happy and be happy. Being happy is the best way to deal with those things.”