Report | Derek Brunson vs Israel Adesanya close to finalization for UFC 230

Derek Brunson, Israel Adesanya

UFC 230 is already setting up to be an unofficial middleweight tournament and the bracket only appears to be getting bigger.

Already added to the November 3rd Madison Square Garden event is a trio of awesome 185-pound clashes. Most notably is the recent title challenger Yoel Romero taking on the red-hot rising contender, Paulo Costa.

Along with that great matchup is a rematch between former champions in Luke Rockhold and Chris Weidman. Then lastly there is the first of those three announcements which started with the┬áperennial top contender, Ronald “Jacare” Souza vs former World Series of Fighting dual-division king, David Branch.

Now today it’s been reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto that a fourth and presumably final top 10 middleweight encounter is almost official for the big event. That fight being Derek Brunson vs the star in the making, Israel Adesanya.

Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya is on the verge of being finalized for UFC 230 in NYC, per sources. Additionally, Adesanya and the UFC close to finalizing a new deal. He was already in need of a new one, after fighting three fights of a four fight deal in a span of five months.

Adesanya is fresh off the most impressive performance of his entire MMA career as he soundly defeated the surging veteran, Brad Tavares in his very first main event appearance in only his third UFC bout.

Brunson, on the other hand, was supposed to be competing this weekend at UFC 227 to take on another divisional dark horse in Antonio Carlos Junior but was forced out due to injury. The UFC initially was planning to put the bout back together for a later date but that plan obviously has changed.

The injury could be turning a negative into a positive for Brunson as Adesanya is a higher profile matchup and one that he’d certainly want to get back into the win column with.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/30/2018