Derek Brunson is ready for a title shot.
The No. 5 ranked middleweight contender submitted Darren Till with a rear-naked choke at UFC Vegas 36 on Saturday night and earned his fifth consecutive victory in the Octagon. A fired-up Brunson went over to one of the cageside cameras immediately after to set up his next fight and said, “Israel Adesanya, boy, I ain’t working all this time for nothing, boy. You next, boy. You next!”
Brunson had been adamant about a rematch against Adesanya for quite some time. The pair previously met nearly three years ago at UFC 230, where the current champion stole the show with a first-round technical knockout over the promotional veteran. Brunson was down but not out as he fought his way to the top of the middleweight division again by dispatching several contenders in dominating performances. And now, he has called for the opportunity that has evaded him for years.
During his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping, Brunson vented his frustration with not being included in title contention conversation and was sure to insert himself after his win over Till.
“I’m tired of these guys not mentioning my name,” said Brunson. “You know [Israel Adesanya], look at the camera and mention my name. I heard you mentioning Till and [Jared] Cannonier, yeah. Cause I’ve been busting my butt for four years after my loss to get back to this point. I’m ready to contend.”
Brunson also said that he had no problem waiting for a shot at the title since Adesanya has a rematch against Robert Whittaker on the horizon. He said that the extra months of preparation would be better for if — and when — he fights Adesanya again.
“I’m not broke. I’ll sit and wait, you know what I’m saying? I know Izzy and Whittaker got a fight coming up. I’ll sit and wait. That gives me five or six months to go ahead and get my body right and prepare for this really last, long title push that I’m trying to make.”
Brunson has already received a response from Adesanya, who took to social media to express his disinterest in a second fight.