Derek Brunson


Executes game plan against Holland
March 20, 2021
Brunson defeated Kevin Holland via unanimous decision (49-45, 49-46, 49-46) at UFC Vegas 22 on Saturday.
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.
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Set for headliner against Holland
December 29, 2020
Brunson will face Kevin Holland in a five-round main event fight on March 20, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Brunson rebounded from a pair of losses in 2018 with a three-fight winning streak, most recently beating Edmen Shahbazyan by TKO in August. Holland is riding an even more impressive streak, winning five fights in a row in 2020, finishing his opponent early in four of those, including three first-round victories.
Comes through as massive underdog
August 1, 2020
Brunson defeated Edmen Shahbazyan via TKO (punches) at 0:26 of Round 3 at UFC on ESPN+ 31 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The first few minutes were a feeling out process for the two fighters, but Brunson was able to record a takedown roughly two minutes in. Shahbazyan got back up, and the two engaged in a brief firefight before settling back in. It was clear at this time a more patient Brunson was in the cage than what fight fans have seen in the past, and it resulted in a very tight first round. Brunson got another takedown early in Round 2, but against wasn't able to do much with it. After a brief stoppage due to Shahbazyan getting poked in the eye, Shahbazyan landed a big body shot, but Brunson gained momentum back shortly after that. The veteran started throwing with more consistency, frequently backup Shahbazyan up against the cage. With a bit under 90 seconds left, Brunson scored another takedown and held on longer this time, dealing some damaging ground-and pound. He came dangerously close to a finish in the final seconds of the round as Shahbazyan visibly tired, and referee Herb Dean even called in the doctor to check on him between rounds. Shahbazyan was allowed to go out for Round 3, but didn't make it 30 seconds before Brunson got another takedown and essentially pounded him out. It's a massive win for Brunson, who makes it three victories in a row despite entering as high as a +330 underdog. He'll get a highly-ranked opponent his next time out.
Booked against Shahbazyan again
June 8, 2020
Brunson is scheduled to fight Edmen Shahbazyan in a middleweight match at UFC Fight Night on August 1, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Brunson and Shahbazyan were previously scheduled to meet in March and April, so the UFC will hope that the third time scheduling is the charm. Coming off back-to-back victories over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch (both by unanimous decision), Brunson will once again turn his attention towards defeating an undefeated 22-year-old with 11 wins under his belt. While Brunson will be one of the toughest tests to date for the heralded prospect, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him enter as a sizable betting underdog.
Bumped to UFC Portland
February 20, 2020
Brunson's contest against Edmen Shahbazyan has been moved to UFC Portland on April 11, reports.
Brunson was initially set to fight Shahbazyan at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7, but he'll now have to wait until April to take on the undefeated 22-year-old. Coming off back-to-back wins against Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch, Brunson will look to keep his momentum intact against Shahbazyan.
Added to Vegas card
January 22, 2020
Brunson will face Edmen Shahbazyan at UC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7, reports.
Brunson has rebounded from a pair of losses to defeat Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision in his last two matches. In Shahbazyan, he'll be facing a 22-year-old who has won all 11 of his professional matches, including 10 first-round victories.