Derek Brunson says he can prove the doubters wrong when he fights Darren Till at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The American UFC fighter was responding to Anderson Silva‘s recent comments about the state of the middleweight division after he claimed Israel Adesanya ‘is on top of the game right now’ and has no real competition at 185 pounds.
Silva’s original remarks were made to Australian hit podcast Submission Radio earlier this week.
“That’s Anderson, you know, that’s how he feels the weight class is going to go,” Brunson told GIVEMESPORT.
“But you know, that’s why I’ve been working all these years to like, put a wrench in everybody’s plans, to show my growth, to get that title shot, to, you know, expose these guys, beat these guys at their own game, and just grow as a martial artist.
“So that’s my job to go out there and prove the doubters, prove Anderson wrong, and prove to myself that I know what I’m capable of.”
Brunson, 37, came up short in his fight against Adesanya, but will possibly get the chance to run it back with The Last Stylebender in his next fight.
The 37-year-old admits he was dealing with some unwelcome distractions outside of the cage and is confident that the result will be very different if they meet for the second time.
“Oh, there’s a lot of things going on at the time, you know, there’s no real excuses in fights, you know, you fight, however it goes, you’ve got to live with it,” he added.
“But um, yeah, I was kind of training myself at home, and since then I’ve come out to Sanford MMA where I have like a full team for coaching, allow myself to be coached.
“And I’ve been on a four fight winning streak here, you know, just filling my holes in my game and getting better.”
The Wilmington middleweight will take to the UFC Apex as the underdog for the headline act, with Till the slight favourite despite alternating wins and losses in his last three fights.
Adesanya has also expressed interest in a matchup with Till in the future.
Speaking earlier this week however, Brunson said he is confident he can cause an upset.
“I really don’t focus on that, you know, I know what I have to do here,” he continued.
“I have to go out here and impress, get a finish here, and I should be getting the next title shot.
“So it doesn’t matter whether the champ calls my name or whatever, you know, I’m on a nice winning streak, and that speaks for itself.
“I’m highly ranked and I just need to beat the guys who I need to beat.”
Catch UFC FIGHT NIGHT ®: BRUNSON vs. TILL at Prime Time on Saturday night with the main card live from 9.00pm on BT Sport 2, with the early prelims live exclusively on Fight Pass from 6.30pm.