Brunson and Till shared the Octagon in the main event of UFC Vegas 36. The middleweight clash took place on Sept. 4. It was clear that Till struggled with the wrestling of Brunson and it ended up being his demise. Brunson locked up a rear-naked choke in the third round and that was all she wrote.
After the fight, Brunson expressed his belief that many top names at 185 pounds haven’t been clamoring to name drop him (h/t MMAFighting.com).
“I’m tired of these guys not mentioning my name. You know [Israel Adesanya], look at the camera, mention my name. I heard you mentioning Till and [Jared] Cannonier. Cause I’ve been busting my butt, four years after my loss to get back to this point. I’m ready to contend.”
Brunson also said he felt snagging a submission victory over Till was never in doubt. In fact, he wanted to showcase his jiu-jitsu skills more.
“I saw a submission the whole time. I’m a Renzo Gracie black belt so I wanted to put it to use. I’m really good on the ground and I want to showcase it.”
Brunson is the number five-ranked UFC middleweight. He believes he’s due for a title shot and says he’ll wait for that opportunity.
“I’m not broke. I’ll sit and wait [for the title shot]. I know Izzy and [Robert] Whittaker got a fight coming up. I’ll sit and wait. That gives me five, six months to go ahead and get my body right and prepare for this really last, long title push that I’m trying to make.”
Brunson has a TKO loss to Israel Adesanya, who is the current UFC Middleweight Champion. Since that loss, he has gone on a five-fight winning streak. Time will tell if the winning streak is enough for Derek Brunson to fight the winner of Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2.