Derek Brunson Calls Out Israel Adesanya | Defeats Darren Till

Image Credit: Derek Brunson Twitter

Things looked bleak for Derek Brunson’s MMA career in 2018.

He lost the two fights he took during that year to high-level talent. Finished by Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in January and then in November by Israel Adesanya, both first-round TKO’s.

However, last night Brunson scored a third-round submission over Darren Till. Brunson immediately planted his flag in the ground of title contention.

“Israel Adesanya, boy, I ain’t working all this time for nothing boy,” Brunson said into the camera immediately after the win. “You next, boy, you next!”

Adesanya catch wind of his name being mention and quickly retorted via Twitter.

Calm down…boy.

You still a bum…son.

The Get Back

Brunson (23-7) is executing a late-career advance toward a UFC middleweight title shot. In the third round, game competitor Darren Till’s (18-4-1) submission loss extended his winning streak to five fights.

Now Brunson looks to secure a title shot against current UFC middleweight champion, Israel “The Last Stylebender” Adesanya.

“Just really taking my time; this camp wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be with my stand up,” said Brunson in the post-fight press conference. My stand-up is better than I was able to show tonight. I was able to get a few things off on the feet with an uppercut.

“I saw some openings, but I was injured for the last three weeks of this camp, so I think with that time to spar and prepare my stand up looks really good, and I can pose a threat to Izzy on the feet, and definitely on the ground.”

Brunson’s tied with two UFC fighters with his five-fight UFC winning streak at middleweight. It is also the second-longest active streak in the division behind Adesanya with ten.

In addition, Brunson’s 14 UFC middleweight victories tie for second-most in divisional history behind Michael Bisping with sixteen. However, Brunson’s 14 wins since 2012 in UFC middleweight competition are the most in the division.

Since catching his first loss in 2018, Darren Till has only won one fight in four; Till fell 1-2 since moving to middleweight in 2019. In addition, Till has also suffered three of his four career losses by stoppage.

Can Izzy’s Style Get Bent?

Adesanya is undefeated as a middleweight. The champ handily defeated Brunson, a UFC 230 stuffing takedowns. He ultimately teed off on Brunson for a first-round TKO.

In the post-fight press conference, Brunson said a rematch would play out differently, although his wrestling and not his striking was the difference-maker against Till.

However, he came into the fight with an injured rib. Fully healthy, Brunson feels he is ready as an older and wiser athlete in a championship.

Brunson earned his first submission victory since Nov. 6, 2013 – nearly eight years- and 17 fights. His last loss was to Adesanya.

Adesanya is coming off his third title defense, defeating Marvin Vettori via unanimous decision at UFC 263. Adesanya’s only professional loss is to Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 when he made his solo venture to light heavyweight.

The fight was supposed to cement a setup for Adesanya’s run at light heavyweight.

 

Rhett Butler is a Boxing Writer Association of America Journalist, Play-By-Play Commentator, Combat Sports Insider, and Former Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing Promoter. The New York City native honed his skills at various news outlets including but not limited to: TIME Magazine, Money Magazine, CNN's Wolf Blitzer Reports, and more. Rhett hosts the PRITTY Left Hook podcast, a polarizing combat sports insider's take featuring the world's biggest names.