|Born||January 4, 1984|
Wilmington, North Carolina, United States
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||186 lb (84 kg; 13.3 st)|
|Reach||77 in (196 cm)|
|Style||Boxing, Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||Wilmington, North Carolina, United States|
|Team||Sanford MMA (2019–present)|
Renzo Gracie Academy
Jackson's MMA (formerly)
|Rank||Brown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Renzo Gracie|
|Wrestling||NCAA Division II Wrestling|
|Mixed martial arts record|
|University||North Carolina at Pembroke|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Derek T. Brunson (born January 4, 1984) is an American mixed martial artist who currently fights in the middleweight division for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As of August 4, 2020, he is #7 in the UFC middleweight rankings.
Brunson was a competitive cheerleader and also wrestled at John T. Hoggard High School under coach Dan Willis. Brunson had scholarships for both cheerleading and wrestling but chose to wrestle at college. 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.
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 missed about 6 weeks. Brunson later faced Souza on August 18, 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. 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.
Brunson was expected to face Krzysztof Jotko on June 20, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 69. However, Brunson pulled out of the fight on June 9 citing a rib injury and was briefly replaced by Uriah Hall. Three days after the booking, Hall was removed due to an alleged visa issue. In turn, Jotko was removed from the card entirely.
Brunson faced Uriah Hall on September 17, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 94. Brunson won the fight via TKO in the first round after dropping Hall with a left hook and finished him with a flurry of ground and pound.
Brunson faced Robert Whittaker on November 27, 2016, at UFC Fight Night 101. He lost the back and forth fight via first-round TKO. Both participants were awarded a Fight of the Night bonus.
Brunson fought Dan Kelly on June 11, 2017, at UFC Fight Night 110. He won by knockout in the first round after dropping Kelly with a straight left and finishing him off with a barrage of ground and pound.
In December 2019, Brunson announced on his social media that he had signed a new, six-fight contract with the UFC.
Brunson was expected to face Edmen Shahbazyan on March 7, 2020 at UFC 248.; However it was announced on February 20 that the bout has been rescheduled and will take place on April 11, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Overeem vs. Harris. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was eventually postponed . The bout eventually was scheduled on August 1, 2020 at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan. He won the fight via technical knockout in round three.
Championships and accomplishments
Mixed martial arts
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- 2017 Robbery of the Year vs. Anderson Silva
- National Collegiate Athletic Association
- University of North Carolina at Pembroke
- 2002 UCA Small Co-ed National Champs - Cheerleading
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|28 matches||21 wins||7 losses|
|Win||21–7||Edmen Shahbazyan||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan||August 1, 2020||3||0:26||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||20–7||Ian Heinisch||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 241||August 17, 2019||3||5:00||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Win||19–7||Elias Theodorou||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Iaquinta vs. Cowboy||May 4, 2019||3||5:00||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada|
|Loss||18–7||Israel Adesanya||TKO (knees and punches)||UFC 230||November 3, 2018||1||4:51||New York City, New York, United States|
|Loss||18–6||Ronaldo Souza||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC on Fox: Jacaré vs. Brunson 2||January 27, 2018||1||3:50||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|Win||18–5||Lyoto Machida||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida||October 28, 2017||1||2:30||São Paulo, Brazil||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||17–5||Dan Kelly||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Lewis vs. Hunt||June 11, 2017||1||1:16||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Loss||16–5||Anderson Silva||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 208||February 11, 2017||3||5:00||Brooklyn, New York, United States|
|Loss||16–4||Robert Whittaker||TKO (head kick and punches)||UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson||November 27, 2016||1||4:07||Melbourne, Australia||Fight of the Night.|
|Win||16–3||Uriah Hall||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Poirier vs. Johnson||September 17, 2016||1||1:41||Hidalgo, Texas, United States|
|Win||15–3||Roan Carneiro||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Cowboy vs. Cowboy||February 21, 2016||1||2:38||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Win||14–3||Sam Alvey||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Teixeira vs. Saint Preux||August 8, 2015||1||2:19||Nashville, Tennessee, United States|
|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 body 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 the 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||TKO (submission to 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|
|NCAA Division II Championships Matches|
|2005 NCAA (DII) Championships 7th at 184 lbs|
|Loss||6-7||Don Ortega||3-5||March 11-12, 2005||2005 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships|
|2004 NCAA (DII) Championships at 184 lbs|
|Loss||4-4||Corey Jacoby||TB-1 1-2||March 12-13, 2004||2004 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships|
|Win||4-3||Matt Trout||MD 16-6|
|2003 NCAA (DII) Championships 4th at 184 lbs|
|Loss||3-2||Jeff Henning||TF 2-18||March 14-15, 2003||2003 NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships|
- "Derek Brunson UFC Profile". ufc.com. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
- Dave Doyle (May 1, 2019). "Derek Brunson believes new approach will pay off at UFC on ESPN+ 9". mmajunkie.com.
- Ollie Carlson (December 13, 2019). "Hard Knocks 365 rebrands to Sanford MMA with sponsorship from Sanford Health". thebodylockmma.com.
- @derekbrunson (September 21, 2019). ""(...) Today I received my Brown Belt in BJJ under Master @renzograciebjj (...)"". Retrieved August 1, 2020 – via Instagram.
- Damon Martin (January 22, 2011). "Names in the Game: Derek Brunson". MMAWeekly.com.
- "Rankings | UFC". www.ufc.com. Retrieved 2020-08-05.
- "Derek B. UFC News". Retrieved 2016-09-18.
- "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.
- Staff (2013-08-04). "Brian Houston replaces Derek Brunson, meets Yoel Romero at UFC 164". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-04.
- Staff (2013-09-16). "Derek Brunson vs. Antonio Braga Neto joins UFC Fight Night 31 lineup". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
- 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.
- Andrew Ravens (2015-04-16). "Derek Brunson vs. Krzysztof Jotko Added To UFC Fight Night 69". efightnews.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-04-17.
- Staff (2015-06-09). "Uriah Hall replaces Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 69 in Berlin". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-06-09.
- Staff (2015-06-12). "Three days after UFC Fight Night 69 booking, Uriah Hall pulled from card". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-06-12.
- Dave Doyle (2015-06-16). "Derek Brunson vs. Sam Alvey set for UFC Fight Night 73 in Nashville". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2015-06-16.
- Steven Marrocco (2015-08-08). "UFC Fight Night 73 results: Derek Brunson scores first-round TKO of Sam Alvey". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2015-08-08.
- Nick Baldwin (2015-12-04). "UFC announces return to Pittsburgh, first fight confirmed". bloodyelbow.com. Retrieved 2015-12-04.
- Ben Fowlkes (2016-02-21). "UFC Fight Night 83 results: Derek Brunson blasts Roan Carneiro for quick TKO". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-02-21.
- "Derek Brunson out of UFC 200 bout with Gegard Mousasi". MMAjunkie. 2016-06-19. Retrieved 2016-06-19.
- Staff (2016-07-18). "UFC Fight Night 94 adds four bouts, including Derek Brunson vs. Uriah Hall co-headliner". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
- Damon Martin (2016-09-17). "Derek Brunson finishes Uriah Hall with devastating first-round TKO". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
- Marc Raimondi (2016-09-21). "Derek Brunson gets quick turnaround, faces Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Night 101". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2016-09-21.
- Steven Marrocco (2016-11-27). "UFC Fight Night 101 results: Robert Whittaker stops Derek Brunson in wild back-and-forth brawl". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
- Tristen Critchfield (2016-11-27). "UFC Fight Night 101 bonuses: Robert Whittaker pockets $100K for first-round TKO". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-11-27.
- "Former champ Silva takes decision from Brunson". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- "MMADecisions.com". MMADecisions.com. Retrieved 2017-02-12.
- Jordan Colbert. "Sherdog.com's 2017 Robbery of the Year". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
- Themistoklis Alexis (2017-03-20). "Brunson-Kelly targeted for UFC Auckland". thescore.com. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
- Ben Fowlkes (2017-06-11). "UFC Fight Night 110 results: Derek Brunson finishes Daniel Kelly in 1st round with straight left". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-06-11.
- Staff (2017-08-17). "Lyoto Machida returns, meets Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 119 in Sao Paulo". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "UFC Fight Night 119 results: Derek Brunson thrashes Lyoto Machida for first-round KO". MMAjunkie. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- "UFC Fight Night 119 bonuses: Derek Brunson's decimation of Machida was worth an extra $50,000". MMAjunkie. 2017-10-29. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
- Staff (2017-11-29). "Derek Brunson vs. 'Jacare' slotted for Charlotte's UFC on FOX 27 headliner". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2017-11-29.
- "UFC on FOX 27 results: 'Jacare' Souza takes out Derek Brunson after head kick in first". MMAjunkie. 2018-01-28. Retrieved 2018-01-28.
- "Carlos Junior faces Brunson in LA this August". UFC. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
- Tristen Critchfield (2018-07-05). "Derek Brunson out of UFC 227 bout vs. Antonio Carlos Jr. due to eye injury". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2018-07-05.
- Shaun Al-Shatti (2018-08-03). "Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya slated for UFC 230". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2018-08-06.
- "UFC 230 Results: Israel Adesanya finishes Derek Brunson in Round 1 | BJPenn.com". | BJPenn.com. 2018-11-04. Retrieved 2018-11-04.
- Jesse Holland (2019-02-20). "UFC Ottawa official for May 4 on ESPN+". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2019-02-20.
- Evanoff, Josh (2019-05-04). "UFC Ottawa Results: Derek Brunson Defeats Elias Theodorou". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
- DNA, MMA. "Derek Brunson vs. Ian Heinisch toegevoegd aan nu al sterke UFC 241 card in Anaheim". Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- Anderson, Jay (2019-08-17). "UFC 241 Results: Derek Brunson Takes Decision Over Ian Heinisch, Fans Remind Covington that "Colby Sucks"". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2019-08-18.
- @DerekBrunson (December 3, 2019). "Just signed my 6th UFC contract . Been in the best organization for almost 8 years, fought the best in the world. Still here , still motivated. The best is yet to come . Let's go 6-0 on this 6 fight contract . Thanks to my team and manager @AliAbdelaziz00 👊🏾" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Critchfield, Tristen (2020-01-22). "Middleweights Derek Brunson, Edmen Shahbazyan to clash at UFC 248 in Las Vegas". Sherdog.com. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
- Redactie. "Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan moved from UFC 248 to UFC Portland". mmadna. Retrieved 2020-02-20.(in Dutch)
- Nolan King and John Morgan (2020-03-15). "UFC postpones three events amid growing coronavirus outbreak". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-03-16.
- "Derek Brunson vs. Edmen Shahbazyan booked for UFC Fight Night event on August 1". MMA Junkie. 2020-06-08. Retrieved 2020-06-12.
- Doherty, Dan (2020-08-01). "UFC Vegas 5 Results: Derek Brunson Shuts Down Edmen Shahbazyan". Cageside Press. Retrieved 2020-08-02.
- Matt Erickson (January 2, 2018). "MMAjunkie's '2017 Robbery of the Year': The MMA gods giveth, and they taketh away". mmajunkie.com.
- DNA, MMA. "MMA DNA UFC Awards 2017 : De Uitslagen!!!". Retrieved 2019-01-28.
- Staff (2014-10-17). "Brunson Named UNC Pembroke Young Alumnus Of The Year". UNCPBraves.com. Archived from the original on 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2014-11-13.
- Sherdog.com. "Derek Brunson MMA Stats, Pictures, News, Videos, Biography - Sherdog.com". Sherdog. Retrieved 2019-08-17.