After being almost officially named the “gatekeeper” of the UFC middleweight’s Top 5 rankings and after no one believed he could do anything more anymore, Derek Brunson has become more current than ever.
The victory over Edmen Shahbazyn’s great potential resonated loudly and Derek recorded his third victory in a row. And he started that series when he arrived at the gym with Henry Hooft, a coach of fighters like Kamaru Usman, Gilbert Burns, Vicente Luque, and Michael Chandler.
The results are immediately visible. And not only the results, Brunson looks tactically never more mature, no longer rushes and sticks to tactics.
We’re not sure if this victory will move Derek from eighth place in the challenger rankings, but it should definitely bring him a chance to fight someone better ranked. Without skipping any obstacles, the two are already on his mind and he has nothing against already arranging a fight against any of them.
“Hermansson or Till sounds great to me. They’re both ranked better than me and are currently free,” Brunson wrote on Twitter, tagging the people in charge of pairing UFC fights.
Kelvin Gastelum, who is one position better placed, is also free, but Derek may even skip him in the updated rankings, and it doesn’t make much sense to pair a fighter with three wins in a row and one with three defeats.
Till and Hermansson, therefore, sound very good. Both have been fighting recently. Till was defeated by Robert Whittaker, but he should have a longer break due to a knee injury, while Hermansson defeated the aforementioned Gastelum and is looking for one of the fighters from the very top. He should, therefore, be specifically persuaded to accept Brunson. Between Till and Hermansson, Yoel Romero is on the list, but he will rarely be named.
In addition, Brunson has already fought Romero at the very beginning of his UFC career. He won the first two rounds, and in the third, he met one of Romero’s greatest qualities, the ability to end the fight he loses at once, most often in the last section.
In addition to Romero, Brunson was defeated in the UFC by Robert Whittaker, Anderson Silva, Jacare Souza, and Israel Adesanya, while he recorded a total of 12 victories in the Octagon.