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UFC News: Derek Brunson vows to crack Anderson Silva at UFC 208

Johny Payne
17 Jan 2017, 22:13 IST
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9: Anderson Silva celebrates after his fight against Daniel Cornier (R) during the UFC 200 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Anderson Silva is often touted as the Muhammad Ali of MMA

What’s the story?

Anderson Silva, one of the greatest Mixed Martial Artists (MMA) of all time, is scheduled to face Derek Brunson at Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 208 in Brooklyn, New York. However, Brunson, on his part, seems to be unfazed by the prospect of having to fight the MMA legend.

In fact, Brunson has gone as far as to claim that if Silva tries to mock him inside the Octagon, he will explode in, and touch his chin. Silva has a high-risk style of fighting, striking to be precise, in which he showboats and goads his opponents into striking him.

Silva’s hands-down-chin-up-style has gotten him into trouble on more occasions than he might like, and Brunson, on his part, aims to take complete advantage, if any such opportunity presents itself. Here’s what he had to say on a recent edition of the MMA Hour:

“I don’t expect him out there dropping his hands, pulling his head back because if one of these punches catches you on the chin, it’s lights out. I expect the best Anderson Silva and I don’t think he will play with me, I don’t think he will toy with me like he does other guys because I can explode in and touch his chin. All it takes is one shot and I am sure his camp is like, ‘This guy can crack you.”

In case you didn’t know...

Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva (33-8-1) is a former UFC Middleweight Champion, with ten consecutive title defences to his name. On the other hand, Derek Brunson (16-4) is a Strikeforce and UFC veteran, with several highlight reel knockout victories to his name.

On the surface, what may seem like a striker vs. grappler battle between these two fighters may not hold true in actuality. The reason behind this being Brunson’s insane knockout power that is built around his strong wrestling base and Silva’s sneaky submission game that is based on his deadly stand-up skills.

Silva is one of the most lethal Muay Thai practitioners to ever step foot inside the Octagon.


The heart of the matter

Derek Brunson is coming off a disappointing loss to Robert Whittaker, a fight in which he was finished via strikes. The Whittaker loss signalled the end of Brunson’s five-fight win streak, that included four consecutive victories by way of knockout or technical knockout (KO/TKO).

Brunson trains at the world class Jackson-Wink MMA gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He and his team are well aware of Silva’s tricky Muay Thai and killer instinct, especially on the feet. Over his ten-year reign of beautiful destruction in the UFC MW division, Silva made it a point, to routinely mock his opponents mid-fight.

However, Brunson has issued a warning to Silva, ahead of their three round fight, in Brooklyn, to refrain from mocking and other in-fight antics during the fight. Brunson went on to say that Silva and his coaches would be wary of his power and that Silva would not dare to showboat with unnecessary head movement and his usual routine; because they know that Brunson can crack.

Brunson thinks that one mistake on Silva’s part, and it would be lights out for him. Here’s what Brunson said in a recent appearance on the MMA Hour. [Courtesy: MMAMania]

"He’s not going to be doing what he did against Weidman. And he won’t be doing what he look like he did against Cormier. He had nothing to lose against Cormier, so he went into that fight completely out of shape."

What’s next?

As of now, Silva and Brunson both are pushing themselves to the limit in their respective training camps. UFC 208 takes place in Brooklyn, New York and features the first ever UFC Women’s Featherweight title fight.

The event is headlined by the aforementioned title fight between Holly Holm and Germaine De Randamie, with the Silva vs. Brunson fight featuring on the main card. 

Silva hasn’t, officially, won a fight since he beat Stephan Bonnar in 2012. He is an MMA legend but his career seems to be winding down. ‘Spider’ is on the verge of retirement. On the contrary, Derek Brunson is just coming off a top prospect battle against Robert Whittaker, which he lost.

Irrespective of his previous performance, Brunson is in a fairly decent position in his career, right now. His upcoming fight with Silva will play a huge part in determining whether he can break into the elite of the UFC MW division.

Sportskeeda’s take

Silva vs. Brunson is a lose-lose situation for the ‘Spider’. If he wins, his critics would say that Brunson never was a technical striker. On the other hand, if he loses, it would be a career-threatening blow to him. A blow that he, perhaps, cannot recover from.

That said, from a technical perspective, this is an intriguing stylistic matchup for MMA fans. Brunson started out his career and his breakthrough in Strikeforce as an explosive wrestler, with decent striking.

In the UFC, he has evolved into a more well-rounded MMA fighter. He has the ability to knock people out, as well as grind them with his wrestling. Meanwhile, Silva is considered to be one of the greatest strikers to ever compete inside the Octagon.

Besides being a striking savant, Silva also has excellent Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) to cover up for his poor takedown defence ability. Silva actively looks for submissions off of his back and, although, he is famous for being a KO artist, he also has a number of submission wins to his credit. 

Regardless of what happens at UFC 208, watch out for the ‘Spider’ resorting to his showboating instincts. And, in case, Brunson moves in and catches Spider on the chin; we mustn’t say he didn’t warn us.

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