After falling short at UFC 271, what’s next for Derek Brunson?

Derek Brunson

On the main card of UFC 271, we saw a big time matchup in the middleweight division. A potential title fight was on the line as Derek Brunson (23-8) was looking to continue his winning streak by defeating “The Killa Gorilla” Jared Cannonier (15-5).

Brunson told everyone ahead of UFC 271 that win, lose, or draw, he would only be fighting two more times. In an ideal situation, Brunson would defeat Cannonier at UFC 271 then retire after a title shot against Israel Adesanya. After one round, it looked like that was going to happen.

Brunson had some success in the first round against Cannonier with his wrestling. Then, at the end of the first round, Brunson dropped Cannonier with a counter shot as Cannonier rushed in. Brunson immediately hoped on Cannonier’s back and locked in a rear naked choke.

However, there was only seconds left in the round. The bell sounded and both men went back to their corners. That is where the fight changed completely. Brunson couldn’t get anything going in the second at UFC 271 and he looked tired and sluggish. Late in the round, Brunson was hurt badly by Cannonier.

Cannonier followed up with some brutal shots and the referee stepped in to save Brunson. The dream scenario was within his grasp, but it just slipped through his hands.

What’s next after UFC 271?

Brunson was dejected after the fight, but he said that he would fight on for one more fight after UFC 271. It’s not the outcome he wanted, but he seems committed to giving fans one more good fight before he hangs up his gloves for good. With that, who should he face off with?

In looking at the middleweight division, I think a good opponent would be Jack Hermansson (22-7). Hermansson is still in the top ten of the UFC’s middleweight division, but he’s a bit in No Man’s land. I think a fight with Brunson makes a lot of sense for him as well.

It’s a good matchup for Brunson and it’s still a quality guy who he could face off against as he prepares to ride off towards the rest of his life.

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