Ian Heinisch expects a dominating performance at UFC 241 when he takes on Derek Brunson.
The 31-year-old called for this fight and for a good reason. He doesn’t believe Brunson is on his level and plans on exploiting him come Saturday.
“I think I can get him emotional and with the pressure I bring we will go in the middle and I’ll get him in one of those fights where he swings with his chin up. Those don’t go his way usually,” Heinisch told BJPENN.com. “I’m going to try and bring him into that state of chaos and I’m comfortable in that fight. I believe this will be a great fight for the fans. My last two fights, I wanted to stand and bang and they are trying to get me down. He is coming for the knockout, I’m coming for the knockout.”
Although he is coming for the knockout, Heinisch knows he can’t bank on that. He says he is confident Brunson will shoot in the first and that he will have to stuff the takedowns. Once he does that and starts to hit Brunson on the feet, “The Hurricane” says he will mentally and physically break his opponent.
“Knocking someone out or submitting someone is great, but physically breaking a human being is a great feeling. A lot of that has to do with cardio and mental toughness,” he explained. “The body can go further than the mind thinks. I’m going to put this pace on him and when it gets deeper in the fight he will feel the pressure and will physically and mentally break.”
Should he win at UFC 241, Ian Heinisch believes he could very well be just one win away from a title shot, which would be surreal for him. He always knew he had the skill set to be a world-class fighter but never knew he would have the chance after spending years in prison.
“I’ve been training for this moment a lot. [I’ve] just gone through a lot of pain and hardship. I started wrestling when I was 11, did boxing, time in prison and came out and trained MMA,” he said. “I know I can beat them and took the long road to get to the UFC. Like I lost the LFA title and had to win three fights to get the shot.”
If he beats Brunson on Saturday, Heinisch already has a few names in mind, and to no surprise, they are all ranked in the top-10.
“We are just looking at the options after this and focusing on what is in front of us. I feel like I can get in there and fight a top guy next,” he said. “Next year be in the title conversation. Maybe Jacare, Kelvin Gastelum, winner of Hermansson-Cannonier. I think those are good fights. I’d love to fight in November, December and call it a year.”
In the end, Ian Heinisch is more than confident in his game that he will improve to 3-0 in the UFC.
“We are similar but I’m the better version of him and it’s time to clean him out of the division,” he concluded.
Who do you think will win the fight between Ian Heinisch and Derek Brunson at UFC 241?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/14/2019.