Photo via MMA Fighting
Denied: After earning his way onto season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter, Derek Brunson was told he would not be able to participate due to his existing contract with Strikeforce.
Damn those legally binding contracts!
Current Strikeforce middleweight contender, Derek Brunson, will not have the chance to be coached by Jon Jones or Chael Sonnen on season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), thanks to Showtime's unwillingness to cut him loose of his current contract with the San Jose-based promotion after he successfully earned his way into the TUF house.
Brunson took to his Facebook page and revealed after he obtained permission from Strikeforce officials to try out for the show, he tried out and made the cut to appear on the next installment of the reality series for his chance at winning a contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
However, his chance at fighting for the UFC were dashed last minute:
As you all know I tried out for The Ultimate Fighter made the show , flew to Vegas yesterday , weighed in today, filming was about to start. Showtime network called and said they wouldn't release me from my Strikeforce contract . So no TUF for me . I want to thank Fox Network for being such professionals in trying to handle the situation . Back to the drawing board
Brunson appeared on "The MMA Hour" yesterday (Oct. 31, 212) and revealed he's not exactly certain if Showtime did indeed pull the plug on his chance and is unclear as to who had the final word:
"What I'm hearing recently is that maybe my issue might have gotten caught up in the mix of Showtime and Strikeforce, what they have going on. Like, the shows being cancelled, just what I'm hearing from the media, they're not wanting to air the shows. I'm hearing I pretty much just got caught in the mix. ... These are big corporations, these guys are multi-million dollar corporations, for me, who am I?"
Brunson says after a trying year, he is uncertain what to do next:
"It's still tough to find fights, nobody in Strikeforce is exactly raising their hand to fight me in the first place. That's why I had to sit out so long to get the 'Jacare' fight. I've lost so much money this year on training camps and not having fights. ... I'm heading up to North Carolina, got to re-evaluate what's in my best interest. I've got two little girls, I've gotta do my best by them."
One would think Brunson's request would be granted, given the fact "The Human Blanket" is currently on a two fight skid, losing to Ronaldo Souza in the very first round his last time out at Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman this past August.
Then again, the tough fact remains; a deal is a deal and just because a better opportunity comes knocking, doesn't mean you can easily get out of your prior commitments.
If only it were that easy.
No word on just how many fights Brunson's contract with Showtime/Strikeforce is for, however, if the promotions days are indeed numbered, Derek may get to fight under the bright lights of the UFC down the road.
Of course, he would likely have to rack up a few more wins before being offered a contract, or try out for another season of TUF.