Photo by: Esther Lin / SHOWTIME
After suffering two consecutive losses and losing out on a chance to participate on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 in a span of six months, Derek Brunson looks to end 2012 on a positive note when he takes on Chris Leben at UFC 155 on Dec. 29, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on just 10 days notice.
"Exactly what you said -- I've got a fight in a week. But if you can't get up for the UFC, you can't get up for nothing when it comes to the fight world. So I definitely look to that as my ultimate motivation and that's gonna get me through the fight more so than anything. Obviously I didn't have the longest training camp, but it's a great opportunity and a lot of people would love to be in my spot. I'm definitely not looking to go out there and lay down. I'm going out there to win and do work."
-- Derek Brunson may have been denied his chance to participate on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 a few months ago, but now the former Strikeforce middleweight competitor finds himself on the main card of one of the biggest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) cards of the year, UFC 155. In fact, the pay-per-view (PPV) event on Dec. 29, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, features a rematch between Cain Velasquez and heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos in the main event of the evening. Brunson tells UFC.com his last-minute call up to the big leagues is much better than grinding it out "miserably" inside the TUF house for seven weeks. It's a rare and golden opportunity for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who is coming off two consecutive losses. Nevertheless, "Wrecking Ball" is looking to make the most of his recent reversal of fortune when he challenges Chris Leben in "Sin City" as a late replacement for the injured Karlos Vemola. Despite not having the best 2012, Brunson is determined to end the year with a bang and refuses to lay down for anyone, in this case, "The Crippler." Anyone think Brunson can pull of the upset and spoil the return of one of the hardest hitting middleweights?