Derek Brunson

USA

Fighting Cannonier at UFC 270
MiddleweightUFC
September 27, 2021
Brunson will face off against Jared Cannonier at UFC 270 on January 22, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA reports.
ANALYSIS
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.
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May have fought through injury
MiddleweightUFC
September 5, 2021
Brunson's manager Ali Abdelaziz told Brett Okamoto of ESPN.com that his client suffered torn cartilage and fractured ribs three weeks prior to his UFC Vegas 36 victory over Darren Till.
ANALYSIS
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?
MiddleweightUFC
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.
ANALYSIS
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
MiddleweightUFC
July 29, 2021
Brunson is now tentatively scheduled to face Darren Till in a middleweight matchup at UFC 266 on September 4, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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.
Fighting Till on Aug. 14
MiddleweightUFC
May 12, 2021
Brunson will fight Darren Till at UFC Fight Night on Aug. 14, MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Brunson will look to extend his wining streak to five fights when the middleweight takes on Till. Back on March 21, Brunson defeated Kevin Holland via unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 22. Meanwhile, Till will be returning to the octagon from a fractured collarbone he suffered back in March.
Executes game plan against Holland
MiddleweightUFC
March 20, 2021
Brunson defeated Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Holland slips and falls to his back in Round 1, leading to Brunson dominating the rest of the round with top control and damage. Holland hurt Brunson during the striking exchanges in Round 2, but Brunson could get the fight to the ground twice, where he dominated with top control to end the round. Round 3 starts and Brunson took Holland down again and maintain top control for the remainder of the round. Both trade shots in Round 4, but eventually, Brunson takes Holland down multiple times and earns top control time. In Round 5, Holland takes down Brunson (the first time Brunson's been taken down in the UFC). Brunson worked his way back to his feet and then took down Holland with a double leg against the fence to end the round in the top position. Brunson's superior grappling and experience helped propel him to victory.