Fighter Profile: Derek Brunson

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Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Derek Brunson will return to the UFC Octagon on Saturday night when he faces Jared Cannonier at UFC 271. Brunson is riding a five fight win streak and  is currently ranked 4th in the UFC Middleweight division. This fight is a title eliminator and the winner of Cannonier vs. Brunson will likely fight the winner of Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker which is going down the same night.

Derek Brunson was born January 4, 1984 in Wilmington, NC. In High School Brunson wrestled at John T. Hoggard High School in Wilmington  under coach Dan Willis. Brunson earned himself a spot wrestling at University of North Carolina at Pembroke on scholarship. Brunson was a 3-time NCAA Division II All-American wrestler. He finished college with a 6-7 record in NCAA Division II Championships Matches. After Brunson finished college he decided to focus on training and competing in MMA.

Brunson made his Amature MMA debut in January of 2010 against Steve Bontatibus. Brunson would win by TKO (Punches.) He’d then go on to face Shawn Tavares again winning by TKO (Punches.) After two wins as an amatuer Brunson decided to go pro. He made his pro debut against John Bryant in May of 2010 winning by Submission (Rear Naked Choke.) Chris McNally was next for Brunson; he would beat him by KO (Punches.) He’d win his next fight against Edward Jackson by Knockout (Punches) He’d win six of his next eight fights including a few fights with Strikeforce. Brunson Would then get the call to fight in the UFC.

Brunson made his UFC debut in December 2012 at UFC 155 where he replaced an injured Karlos Vemola against Chris Leben. Brunson would win his debut by Unanimous decision. He’d then go on to face Brian Houston winning by Submission (Rear-naked Choke.) He’d then fight Yoel Romero ultimately losing by TKO (Punches and Elbows.) Brunson would win his next five fights and then would face the biggest challenge of his career against Robert Whittaker losing byTKO (head kick and punches.) He’d then face ‘The Spider’ Anderson Silva losing by unanimous decision. Brunson would then win two and a row against Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida before dropping two in a row to Ronaldo Souza and Israel Adesanya. He is now riding a five fight win streak.

We hope Derek Brunson has a successful return to the UFC Octagon on Saturday night when he faces Jared Cannonier at UFC 271.

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