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Sean Strickland will use Derek Brunson to springboard back into UFC title hunt

UFC 276: Munhoz v O’Malley Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC

Sean Strickland admits he got “knocked the fuck out” by Alex Pereira and won’t be in the middleweight title conversation anytime soon, but expects to resurrect his championship dreams by defeating a contender seated above him in the 185-pound rankings.

Like middleweight veteran Derek Brunson.

“I will fight any motherfucker in the UFC,” Strickland told Helen Yee. “Everybody in the UFC knows that. I’m down. What’s he ranked? I would way rather fight up. I have to climb the ladder, I’m a couple fights away from the title fight, so let’s climb the ladder. Is he just gonna be one of the rungs on the ladder that I gotta climb? Who knows.”

Strickland is ranked three spots below Brunson at No. 7.

Like Strickland, who went down in flames at UFC 276, the 38 year-old Brunson is coming off a brutal knockout loss to Jared Cannonier at UFC 271 back in February. Both fighters are expected to be back in action by the end of the year, though nothing is official at this time.

Sounds like easy matchmaking, regardless of timeline.