Derek Brunson captured his fifth straight victory by submitting Top 10 middleweight Darren Till in the UFC Vegas 36 headliner earlier this month in “Sin City,” a third-round finish (highlights here) that could send the longtime veteran into his first division title shot.
And give Brunson an opportunity to avenge his 2018 loss to Israel Adesanya.
“I know I’m deserving of a title shot,” Brunson told MMA Fighting. “I’ve won five in a row. I haven’t lost in like three years. The last fight was Izzy. Marvin Vettori lost to Izzy, won some fights, got the fight back. (Robert) Whittaker lost to Adesanya, won two fights, got the fight back. I’ve won five fights. More than anybody’s won to get back to the opportunity.”
Brunson (23-7) was crushed by “The Last Stylebender” in the opening frame.
Adesanya (21-1) would eventually capture the middleweight title before moving up to light heavyweight for the chance to join the promotion’s “champ champ” club; however, reigning 205-pound kingpin Jan Blachowicz proved too big and too strong to overcome.
“I know given the chance on the ground, I’m looking to do mass damage,” Brunson continued. “I’m looking to finish the fight. I’m looking to get him out of there. He’s going to be tested like he’s never been tested before where he fought Jan Blachowicz — Blachowicz was just content with controlling him. I’m going to be looking to finish.”
Adesanya is expected to make his Octagon return at some point in early 2022.