The UFC recently confirmed that Derek Brunson is no longer a part of the promotion and announced that they have mutually agreed to part ways. The news was later confirmed by multiple media outlets as well as the automated Twitter bot @UFCRosterWatch. Brunson spent 11 years in the UFC and fought 21 times.
While 'The One' isn't part of any combat sports promotion as of this moment, he knows who he wants to face next. Following reports of his UFC exit, Brunson took to Twitter to remind Jake Paul about his previous call-out.
The YouTuber-turned-boxer had previously asked Dana White to allow him to fight Brunson after the former UFC middleweight contender called him out in 2021. Soon after reports of him leaving the UFC surfaced, Brunson tweeted a screenshot of Paul's old tweet and wrote:
"JAKE. JAKE. JAKE. @jakepaul."
Given 'The Problem Child's track record of facing retired MMA fighters in the boxing ring, a Brunson vs. Paul fight is undoubtedly possible. However, with Paul recently coming off a decision win over Nate Diaz, Brunson may have to wait for a bit.
Derek Brunson was originally slated to face Roman Dolidze at UFC 295 in November. However, Dolidze later revealed that Brunson had pulled out of the fight and called Robert Whittaker or Jared Cannonier to replace him. The Georgian fighter later wished Brunson good luck for his future endeavors upon learning about his release.
Ali Abdelaziz on Derek Brunson being released by the UFC
Ali Abdelaziz recently weighed in on Derek Brunson parting ways with the UFC.
The veteran MMA manager recently spoke to MMA Fighting regarding the release of his client. Abdelaziz expressed Brunson's gratitude for the opportunities presented to him over the past 11 years and wrote:
"Derek Brunson has been under the UFC umbrella for 11 years. He had an amazing career there. The last seven years, he’s been in the top 10 rankings. The UFC was amazing to him. They helped shape who he is today and I’m very grateful for the opportunity he was given. He has to move on and look forward to what comes next for him."
Derek Brunson was undoubtedly one of the UFC's most well-known middleweight contenders. After his successful promotional debut against Chris Leben at UFC 155 in December 2012, 'The One' racked up 14 wins and seven losses in the octagon. He also had two five-fight win streaks that almost earned him a title shot.
During his time in the UFC, Brunson faced world-class opponents like Israel Adesanya, Anderson Silva, Robert Whittaker, and Lyoto Machida.