Derek Brunson


Injury Leg
Est. Return 2/22/2020
Suffers potential leg fracture
August 19, 2019
Brunson has been handed a 180-day suspension due to a potential left leg fracture suffered in Saturday' UFC 241 bout versus Ian Heinisch, Steven Marrocco of reports.
Despite the injury, Brunson earned a unanimous decision victory in the bout to move his career record to 20-7-0. In order to return to the octagon sooner than February of 2020, he will need to receive medical clearance from a physician.
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Rebounds to defeat Ian Heinisch
August 17, 2019
Brunson defeated Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 241 on Saturday in Anaheim.
It was a total 180 from Brunson in the sense that he totally changed his game plan for this fight. Instead of emptying the gas tank quickly and going for the quick finish, Brunson slowed his pace and (correctly) wagered Heinisch would gas out. After surviving a brutal head kick early, Brunson proceeded to swat away all eight of Heinisch's takedown attempts and finished with a 77-to-46 edge in total strikes landed (unofficially). Brunson is far less interesting if he is fighting at a slow pace, but he did what he had to do to get a win here. Considering he likely would have been tumbled down the rankings had he lost, it was the correct call.
Slated for UFC Anaheim
May 31, 2019
Brunson will return to the Octagon to face Ian Heinisch in a middleweight matchup at UFC Anaheim on Aug. 17, reports.
Brunson has had mixed results during his lengthy UFC career, but he took home a victory in his last bout May 4 versus Elias Theodorou. He won't have to wait long to fight again, and the pair, who both owe most of their decisions to KO/TKO, will likely spend a lot of time upright. Brunson owns a seven-inch reach advantage over Heinisch, which could work in his favor if he can keep Brunson at length.
Gets by Elias Theodorou in Ottawa
May 4, 2019
Brunson defeated Elias Theodorou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Ottawa.
While it wasn't the dominant stoppage win Brunson was seeking, it was a nice bounce back performance on the heels of back-to-back losses against Israel Adesanya and Jacare Souza. Brunson started quickly and finished strongly. In between, his second round was rather unmemorable, but he did enough in the first and third frames to emerge victorious. Brunson landed four-of-nine takedown attempts against an over matched Theodorou including a couple memorable slams. Brunson's fight IQ is highly questionable, but he's clearly an explosive athlete. The 35-year-old needs to put together a string of victories at 185 pounds.
Set to face Theodorou in Ottawa
February 20, 2019
Brunson has been announced for UFC Ottawa against Elias Theodorou on May 4 in a middleweight bout, Aaron Bronsteter of reports.
Although the headliners have yet to be announced for Ottawa, Brunson and Theodorou are currently the highlight of the event. Brunson comes in on a cold streak with a 2-4 record over his last six outings, but he can be given some leeway with two of those losses coming to Robert Whittaker and Israel Adesanya. He'll look to break out of the slump against the Canadian Theodorou, who is ranked six spots lower than Brunson at 14th but also comes in as winner in five of his last six.
Falls to 2-4 in last six fights after setback at UFC 230
November 3, 2018
Brunson lost to Israel Adesanya via TKO (punches) at 4:51 of Round 1 at UFC 230 on Saturday in New York City.
While Brunson has countless physical gifts, his fight IQ is dreadful and it cost him once again on Saturday. He repeatedly went for lazy, single-leg takedown attempts (he failed on all seven tries) and Adesanya smashed him in the face with a knee before Brunson could try for number eight. Brunson was staggered the rest of the way and referee Herb Dean was eventually forced to intervene after Brunson ate another half dozen vicious shots. Brunson is going to have his fair share of impressive performances moving forward, but he doesn't learn from his past mistakes and he's too old (35 in January) to expect things to change at this point. He is now 2-4 in his last six fights dating back to November 2016.