Derek Brunson


Booked against Shahbazyan again
June 8, 2020
Brunson is scheduled to fight Edmen Shahbazyan in a middleweight match at UFC Fight Night on August 1, Brett Okamoto of ESPN reports.
Brunson and Shahbazyan were previously scheduled to meet in March and April, so the UFC will hope that the third time scheduling is the charm. Coming off back-to-back victories over Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch (both by unanimous decision), Brunson will once again turn his attention towards defeating an undefeated 22-year-old with 11 wins under his belt. While Brunson will be one of the toughest tests to date for the heralded prospect, it wouldn't be surprising at all to see him enter as a sizable betting underdog.
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Bumped to UFC Portland
February 20, 2020
Brunson's contest against Edmen Shahbazyan has been moved to UFC Portland on April 11, reports.
Brunson was initially set to fight Shahbazyan at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7, but he'll now have to wait until April to take on the undefeated 22-year-old. Coming off back-to-back wins against Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch, Brunson will look to keep his momentum intact against Shahbazyan.
Added to Vegas card
January 22, 2020
Brunson will face Edmen Shahbazyan at UC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7, reports.
Brunson has rebounded from a pair of losses to defeat Elias Theodorou and Ian Heinisch by unanimous decision in his last two matches. In Shahbazyan, he'll be facing a 22-year-old who has won all 11 of his professional matches, including 10 first-round victories.
Suffers potential leg fracture
August 19, 2019
Brunson has been handed a 180-day suspension due to a potential left leg fracture suffered in Saturday' UFC 241 bout versus Ian Heinisch, Steven Marrocco of reports.
Despite the injury, Brunson earned a unanimous decision victory in the bout to move his career record to 20-7-0. In order to return to the octagon sooner than February of 2020, he will need to receive medical clearance from a physician.
Rebounds to defeat Ian Heinisch
August 17, 2019
Brunson defeated Ian Heinisch via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC 241 on Saturday in Anaheim.
It was a total 180 from Brunson in the sense that he totally changed his game plan for this fight. Instead of emptying the gas tank quickly and going for the quick finish, Brunson slowed his pace and (correctly) wagered Heinisch would gas out. After surviving a brutal head kick early, Brunson proceeded to swat away all eight of Heinisch's takedown attempts and finished with a 77-to-46 edge in total strikes landed (unofficially). Brunson is far less interesting if he is fighting at a slow pace, but he did what he had to do to get a win here. Considering he likely would have been tumbled down the rankings had he lost, it was the correct call.
Slated for UFC Anaheim
May 31, 2019
Brunson will return to the Octagon to face Ian Heinisch in a middleweight matchup at UFC Anaheim on Aug. 17, reports.
Brunson has had mixed results during his lengthy UFC career, but he took home a victory in his last bout May 4 versus Elias Theodorou. He won't have to wait long to fight again, and the pair, who both owe most of their decisions to KO/TKO, will likely spend a lot of time upright. Brunson owns a seven-inch reach advantage over Heinisch, which could work in his favor if he can keep Brunson at length.