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Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||185 lb (84 kg; 13.2 st)|
|Reach||77.0 in (196 cm)|
|Fighting out of||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States|
|Team||Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
|Rank||Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Wrestling||NCAA Div II wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||North Carolina at Pembroke|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Brunson was a 3-time Division II All-American wrestler from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. When he finished college he immediately turned his attention to mixed martial arts. He trains at Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Jackson's MMA along with Jon Jones.
Brunson made his professional MMA debut in May 2010 against John Bryant where he won by a rear naked choke in under a minute. He then won his next 5 fights with none of them having made it past 2:30 of the first round.
In a quick turnaround, Brunson fought his second fight for Strikeforce just over one month after his debut. He faced Lumumba Sayers on the undercard of Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson on July 30, 2011. He won the fight via submission in the first round.
Brunson's next fight was on November 18, 2011 at Strikeforce Challengers: Britt vs. Sayers against Nate James. He won the fight via unanimous decision.
Brunson was scheduled to face Ronaldo Souza on March 3, 2012 at Strikeforce: Tate vs. Rousey. However, the Ohio State Athletic Commission denied his fight license based on an eye exam he had submitted. Derek fought wearing contacts in all of his bouts but Ohio has a rule against this. Derek immediately scheduled a Lasik procedure and is expected to miss about 6 weeks. Brunson later faced Souza on August 18th, 2012 at Strikeforce: Rousey vs Kaufman and was defeated by KO at :41 of the 1st round.
The Ultimate Fighter
Brunson was accepted to compete in The Ultimate Fighter 17, but on the first day of filming he was pulled from the competition due to Showtime having yet to release him from his contract.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Brunson made his UFC debut replacing an injured Karlos Vemola against Chris Leben on December 29, 2012 at UFC 155. Despite being a late replacement and heavy underdog, Brunson utilized his superior wrestling to defeat Leben via unanimous decision.
Brunson was expected to face Ronny Markes on June 8, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV 10. However, the bout was scrapped on the day of the weigh in as Markes was involved in a traffic accident. While Markes was not seriously injured, the incident prevented him from competing.
Brunson was expected to face Antonio Braga Neto on November 6, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 31. However, Neto pulled out of the bout citing an injury and was replaced by Brian Houston. Brunson won the fight in impressive fashion early, connecting with a head kick on Houston and then securing a rear-naked choke submission.
The bout with Romero was rescheduled for January 15, 2014 at UFC Fight Night 35. After winning the first two rounds, Brunson was dropped by a left hook and lost the fight via TKO due to elbows on the ground in the third round. Both fighters earned a $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus award.
On February 15, 2014 it was announced that Brunson has signed a four-fight contract with UFC.
Brunson was expected to face Lorenz Larkin on August 2, 2014 at UFC 176. However, after UFC 176 was cancelled, Larkin/Brunson was rescheduled and eventually took place on August 30, 2014 at UFC 177. Brunson won the fight via unanimous decision.
Brunson was expected to face Ed Herman on December 13, 2014 at UFC on Fox 13. However, the bout was scrapped just hours before the fight, as Brunson was stricken with a stomach ailment. Subsequently, the bout with Herman was rescheduled and took place on January 31, 2015 at UFC 183. Brunson won the fight via TKO in the first round.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- 3-time Division II All-American Wrestler
- 2002 UCA Small Co-ed National Champs - Cheerleading
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|16 matches||13 wins||3 losses|
|Win||13–3||Ed Herman||TKO (punches)||UFC 183||January 31, 2015||1||0:36||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||12–3||Lorenz Larkin||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 177||August 30, 2014||3||5:00||Sacramento, California, United States|
|Loss||11–3||Yoel Romero||TKO (punches and elbows)||UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Philippou||January 15, 2014||3||3:23||Duluth, Georgia, United States||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||11–2||Brian Houston||Submission (rear-naked choke)||UFC: Fight for the Troops 3||November 6, 2013||1||0:48||Fort Campbell, Kentucky, United States|
|Win||10–2||Chris Leben||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 155||December 29, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||9–2||Ronaldo Souza||KO (punches)||Strikeforce: Rousey vs. Kaufman||August 18, 2012||1||0:41||San Diego, California, United States|
|Loss||9–1||Kendall Grove||Decision (split)||ShoFight 20||June 16, 2012||3||5:00||Springfield, Missouri, United States||For ShoFight Middleweight Championship.|
|Win||9–0||Nate James||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce Challengers: Britt vs. Sayers||November 18, 2011||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||8–0||Lumumba Sayers||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson||July 30, 2011||1||4:33||Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States|
|Win||7–0||Jeremy Hamilton||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce Challengers: Fodor vs. Terry||June 24, 2011||3||5:00||Kent, Washington, United States|
|Win||6–0||Danny Babcock||KO (punch)||World Extreme Fighting 45||January 22, 2011||1||1:07||Jacksonville, Florida, United States|
|Win||5–0||Rhomez Brower||Submission (punches)||XFP: The Holiday Fight Fest||December 4, 2010||1||2:27||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||4–0||Todd Chattelle||TKO (punches)||ICE: Fright Night 2010||October 29, 2010||1||0:14||Providence, Rhode Island, United States|
|Win||3–0||Edward Jackson||KO (punches)||Carolina's Summer Fight Series 3||July 31, 2010||1||0:41||Jacksonville, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||2–0||Chris McNally||KO (punches)||Carolina's Summer Fight Series 2||June 26, 2010||1||1:42||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||1–0||John Bryant||Submission (rear-naked choke)||Carolina's Summer Fight Series 1||May 22, 2010||1||0:52||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States|
- "Fight Card - UFC Fight Night Dos Santos vs. Miocic". UFC.com. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- "Derek Brunson - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Damon Martin (January 22, 2011). "Names in the Game: Derek Brunson". MMAWeekly.com.
- "Strikeforce just signed a 6-0 force of nature to their middleweight division, and here's his TUF audition reel". MiddleEasy.com. March 1, 2011.
- "Derek Brunson Official Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Profile". mixedmartialarts.com. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "Derek Brunson vs. Lumumba Sayers Added to Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Henderson Undercard". sports.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2011-07-12.
- "Following license denial, Strikeforce's Derek Brunson plans Lasik surgery". mmajunkie.com. 2012-02-21.
- "Karlos Vemola out at UFC 155, Strikeforce vet Derek Brunson meets Chris Leben". mmajunkie.com. December 18, 2012.
- Staff (March 12, 2013). "Derek Brunson vs. Ronny Markes targeted for UFC on FUEL TV 10". mmajunkie.com.
- Staff (2013-06-07). "Derek Brunson vs. Ronny Markes pulled from UFC on FUEL TV 10 lineup". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-06-07.
- Staff (2013-06-17). "UFC 164 Gains Derek Brunson vs. Yoel Romero". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
- "Brian Houston replaces Derek Brunson, meets Yoel Romero at UFC 164". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- "Derek Brunson vs. Antonio Braga Neto joins UFC Fight Night 31 lineup". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Staff. "Brian Houston in for Antonio Braga Neto vs. Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 31". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-09-24.
- Staff (2013-11-26). "UFC Fight Night 35 adds Yoel Romero vs. Derek Brunson". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-11-26.
- "UFC Fight Night 35 Bonuses: Rockhold, Miller, Romero, Brunson Earn $50K Awards", by Mike Whitman, Sherdog.com
- Guillen, Adam jr. (2014-02-15). "Derek Brunson signs new four-fight contract with UFC". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2014-03-18.
- Ken Pishna (2014-06-07). "Derek Brunson vs. Lorenz Larkin Added to UFC 176". mmaweekly.com. Retrieved 2014-06-07.
- Staff (2014-07-09). "Danny Castillo-Tony Ferguson, Derek Brunson-Lorenz Larkin moved to UFC 177". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-07-09.
- Staff (2014-09-18). "Derek Brunson vs. Ed Herman slated for UFC on FOX 13 in Phoenix". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2014-09-18.
- Staff (2014-12-13). "Derek Brunson stomach issue forces late scratch of UFC on FOX 13 fight with Ed Herman". mmajunkie.com.
- Tristen Critchfield (2014-12-16). "Derek Brunson-Ed Herman Middleweight Bout rebooked for UFC 183 on Jan. 31". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2014-12-16.
- Staff (2014-10-17). "Brunson Named UNC Pembroke Young Alumnus Of The Year". UNCPBraves.com. Retrieved 2014-11-13.