Last week we began to hear word that Strikeforce had signed highly touted Middleweight prospect, Derek Brunson. I had read pieces here and there about him in the past as he built up his undefeated record. But decided to dig deeper to find out who this kid is and what they hype was all about.
Derek Brunson is a 27 year old three time All American wrestler out of UNC-Penbroke. He stands at 6'1" tall and boasts a 6-0 record, recently defeating Danny Babcock in just over a minute at WEF 45. In fact, if you were to sit down and watch all of Brunson's fights bell to bell you could save 15% or more on car insurance since not one went past 2:27. He began his MMA training with Evolution MMA and then spent some time with Renzo Gracie's team. He is now training with Greg Jackson's camp as he prepares for his Strikeforce debut. He actually tried out for TUF this season but once the decision was made to go to all welterweights, he was out of the mix. Soon after his destruction of Danny Babcock talks began to heat up and he was signed last week.
After I have spent some time looking at his fights and other clips demonstrating his overall athletic abilities the guy looks amazing. Freakishly strong and highly athletic. If he can take the next step with the same kind of dominance then Strikeforce has a very unique middleweight on their hands. He seems highly dedicated and now that he is at Jackson's camp he has the chance to reach his full potential.
There has been a lot of debate about Strikeforce's depth of prospects. We have to understand they are still a young company building a roster. They have their fingers in all parts of the world from working extensively with Golden Glory, to their M-1 relationship that covers most of Eastern Europe's prospects, to the DREAM partnership. Their scouting seems to be paying off. This is another example of the organization looking to expand the roster with quality talent that has not been seen by the mainstream audience yet. It's exciting to see them dedicated to growth both in being an event based organization while slowly but surely building new talent.
There has been talk on Derek's Twitter account that he might be on the April 1st Challengers card. If not that card it is clear he will debut soon. I will be watching.
Here is his TUF audition. Some crazy displays of power. Enjoy!
Derek Brunson . Official TUF audition film (via dbrunsonnc)