Derek Brunson


Fades following quick start
February 12, 2022
Brunson lost to Jared Cannonier via TKO (strikes) at 4:29 of Round 2 at UFC 271 on Saturday in Houston.
It's a career-defining defeat for Brunson and one that will all but torpedo his chances of earning a title shot at 185 pounds. It's difficult to pinpoint the exact time it all went downhill for Derek. He had a big first round on the strength of his wrestling. He attempted nine takedowns in the opening frame alone, landing two of them. He struggled to keep Cannonier pinned to the mat for an extended period of time, but did manage to clamp on a deep rear-naked choke in the final seconds of the round before Cannonier was saved by the bell. Brunson's gas tank appeared to completely evaporate in the early stages of Round 2 despite the fact he didn't appear to eat any overwhelming strikes. The takedown attempts dried up and it was just a matter of time before Cannonier closed the show. Brunson entered this fight having won five in a row, but he just turned 38 years of age and the odds of him being able to rebound from this setback are small.
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Shifts to UFC 271 card
December 15, 2021
Brunson's middleweight fight against Jared Cannonier has been pushed to UFC 271 on Feb. 12, Brett Okamoto of reports.
This fight was supposed to be at UFC 270 on Jan. 22, but the promotion decided to move it back for an undisclosed reason. They will now be on the same card as the UFC Middleweight Championship that features Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. Brunson is coming off a near flawless performance when he submitted Darren Till back in early September.
Fighting Cannonier at UFC 270
September 27, 2021
Brunson will face off against Jared Cannonier at UFC 270 on January 22, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
This fight has yet to be officially announced, but it sounds as though this is a done deal. Brunson owns a 17-6 UFC record and has won each of his last five bouts dating back to May of 2019.
May have fought through injury
September 5, 2021
Brunson's manager Ali Abdelaziz told Brett Okamoto of that his client suffered torn cartilage and fractured ribs three weeks prior to his UFC Vegas 36 victory over Darren Till.
This, of course, cannot be explicitly proven, and Brunson did in fact pass his medicals prior to taking the cage for Saturday's main event. Still, if true, this makes his lopsided victory over Till all the more impressive considering he would have had to put his training on hold for multiple weeks leading up to the fight. Brunson still managed to land 41 significant strikes and three takedowns prior to his third-round submission, so it doesn't appear his activity was limited by an injury. He'll now have plenty of time to heal up if he does in fact choose to wait for a title shot. Brunson's camp has also insinuated they would be open to a top contender bout against Jared Cannonier, as well as celebrity boxing appearances, though the latter would require special permission from UFC President Dana White.
Another easy win, title shot next?
September 4, 2021
Brunson defeated Darren Till via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:13 of Round 3 at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas.
It was a flawless performance from Brunson and one that may very well earn him a title shot. Entering as a baffling +130 underdog, Brunson began his evening by pounding Till into oblivion in Round 1. He finished with a 51-8 edge in total strikes landed, in addition to scoring a takedown and racking up 2:57 of control time in the first frame alone. Brunson added 3:56 worth of control time in Round 2 before choking Till out in Round 3. Brunson deserves credit for recognizing a weakness in his game and correcting it. Earlier in his UFC run, Brunson would go for broke and try to knock out his opponent any time an opportunity presented itself. Now, he picks his spots much better and it a much more effective fighter as a result. A rematch between Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya for Adesanya's UFC Middleweight Championship will be the next big fight at 185 pounds, but Brunson, who said he doesn't mind waiting, could very well get the winner of that. The North Carolina native will be 38 years of age by the time that potential title fight rolls around and his poor history against top-flight competition will make him a significant betting underdog, but the fact Brunson is even in the discussion is a testament to how well he has performed the last couple years.
Matchup with Till delayed
July 29, 2021
Brunson is now tentatively scheduled to face Darren Till in a middleweight matchup at UFC 266 on September 4, reports.
This was a fight that at one point was scheduled for April and later pushed back to mid-August, only to be pushed back once again. The UFC hopes to hold September's pay-per-view event overseas in London, though that is looking less likely by the day. Most recently, sportsbooks had listed Brunson as approximately a (+115) betting underdog for this matchup between top contenders at 185 pounds.