In a surprising turn of events, Derek Brunson has not only been pulled from his highly anticipated UFC 295 showdown against Roman Dolidze but has bid farewell to the UFC altogether. This decision marks the end of an impressive 11-year journey for the seasoned middleweight contender within the UFC’s hallowed octagon, as confirmed by sources close to the situation, courtesy of MMA Hook.
Initially slated to face off against Roman Dolidze on November 11 at Madison Square Garden for UFC 295, the fight landscape shifted dramatically when Dolidze took to Twitter to reveal that Brunson was no longer his opponent. Instead, he expressed his desire to step into the cage against either Robert Whittaker or Jared Cannonier, shaking up the middleweight division’s rankings.
Dolidze, in a gracious gesture, extended his best wishes to Brunson for his future endeavors following a post by the automated UFC Roster Watch account announcing Brunson’s departure.
Brunson, aged 39, had been a stalwart in the UFC’s 185-pound division since his arrival in 2012 after the dissolution of Strikeforce. During his tenure, the North Carolina native amassed an impressive record of 14 wins and 7 losses in the octagon. Notably, he embarked on two separate five-fight winning streaks that brought him tantalizingly close to a shot at the middleweight title.
Over the years, Brunson engaged in battles against an array of top middleweight contenders, squaring off against legends like Anderson Silva, current champion Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, Lyoto Machida, Yoel Romero, Ronaldo Souza, Jared Cannonier, and Dricus Du Plessis, among others. His departure from the UFC ranks occurred while he held the No. 8 spot in the promotion’s media-generated middleweight rankings.
Currently, MMA Hook recognizes Derek Brunson as the No. 11 ranked middleweight fighter in the world.
In reporting this breaking news, we extend our appreciation to Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin for their contributions to this report, capturing the essence of this significant moment in the world of mixed martial arts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MMA Departure
Why did Derek Brunson leave the UFC?
Derek Brunson and the UFC decided to part ways after an 11-year, 21-fight run. The exact reasons for his departure haven’t been disclosed, but it marks the end of his long-standing career with the organization.
What was the significance of the UFC 295 fight with Roman Dolidze?
The UFC 295 fight between Derek Brunson and Roman Dolidze was highly anticipated as it featured two ranked contenders in the middleweight division. However, this fight was canceled due to Brunson’s departure from the UFC.
Can you highlight Derek Brunson’s achievements in the UFC?
Certainly. Derek Brunson had an impressive career in the UFC, boasting a record of 14 wins and 7 losses. He had two notable five-fight win streaks and faced top middleweight fighters like Anderson Silva, Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, and more.
What’s next for Roman Dolidze after Derek Brunson’s departure?
Roman Dolidze expressed his desire to fight either Robert Whittaker or Jared Cannonier after Brunson’s exit. It remains to be seen who his next opponent will be and how this development will affect the middleweight rankings.