Derek Brunson looks back on who he believes is the toughest opponent he ever faced.
Derek Brunson is looking to renew his fight career by making one more push for a UFC title. His last time out Brunson fought Jared Cannonier but lost vis second-round TKO. Cannonier went on to fight for the title but was unsuccessful. That fight was the first loss for Brunson in six fights, but he is not crediting Cannonier with being the most difficult to fight.
Brunson came to the UFC back in 2012. He has had a long, successful career so far and has fought some of the best men the middleweight division had to offer. Among some of the tough opponents, Brunson has dealt with throughout his UFC career are Yoel Romero, Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya, and Lyoto Machida.
But the man who Brunson feels may have given him the toughest challenge is not any of these, but instead the long-time champion Anderson Silva.
“The hardest opponent I’ve faced to date might be Anderson Silva,” Brunson told The Schmo. “I’ll say Anderson because he’s good everywhere, I had him in a body lock and you know I’m taking him down and he’s like posting out and this was like older Anderson and he’s like posting out like giving me mad problems taking him down.
“I took him down, he has a good guard. On the feet, he’s really tricky. So, you got to stay in tune at every point in the fight like he’ll go like stepping up elbows. The guy is just so innovative and he’s good everywhere. So, I would say the hardest person to fight will be Anderson because you got to watch out for him everywhere.”
Brunson and Silva fought in 2017 at UFC 208 in Brooklyn NY. The fight was a close one, but Silva came out as the winner by unanimous decision. Since that fight, Brunson has worked his way up the ranking and has even faced off against the champion Adesanya before he became champion.
Brunson is still ranked in the top five and may still not be far away from a title shot if he can get one or two more big wins. With retirement talks popping up in the past, Brunson now seems firm to continue to fight for the foreseeable future.
What was your favorite Derek Brunson fight to watch?