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Midnight Mania! Longtime UFC contender Derek Brunson released unexpectedly, calls out Jake Paul

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UFC 285: Brunson v Du Plessis Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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After 21 fights and more than a decade on the roster, UFC Middleweight contender Derek Brunson has been released from the UFC. First reported by UFC Roster Watch and later confirmed by MMAFighting’s Damon Martin, Brunson has not retired. Instead, he was released outright after withdrawing from a planned bout versus Roman Dolidze.

The release is fairly surprising. As of this week, Brunson was ranked as the seventh best Middleweight contender in the world. Admittedly, he’s also 39 years of age and coming off a pair of stoppage losses, though both those defeats came opposite Top Five-ranked contenders Dricus Du Plessis and Jared Cannonier. Brunson has talked about retirement previously, but I cannot imagine he expected UFC to make the decision for him.

Fortunately, there are other options for Middleweight free agents. Brunson’s name has previously been brought up as a potential opponent for Jake Paul’s MMA debut, and now that he’s free to pursue such an opportunity, Brunson quickly turned to social media in an attempt to get in contact with “The Problem Child.”

It remains to be seen if Paul takes the bait.

As for Brunson’s UFC career, he can walk away with his head held high. Brunson spent the majority of his 11 years on the roster as a ranked contender, defeating major names like Kevin Holland, Lyoto Machida, and Darren Till. In addition, he’s shared the cage with many champions, including Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, and Israel Adesanya. Over the course of his career, Brunson repeatedly turned away prospects and shocked bettors in the process.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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