At a glance, UFC 230’s Derek Brunson vs. Israel Adesanya bout looks like a two-outcome fight. The widespread thinking seems to be that Adesanya will win the fight with his superior striking, or that Brunson will win with his world-class wrestling. Based on the middleweights’ records and skillsets, you would not be faulted for thinking this way.
The fighters, however, have other ideas.
Israel Adesanya recently announced that he believes he might submit the wrestler Derek Brunson.
“First round or second knockout,” he told Adam Glyn when asked for a prediction for the fight. “If not it’s going to be a submission. My first submission in MMA.”
Similarly, Derek Brunson is confident that he can knock the striker Adesanya out. He has, after all, knocked out strikers before — Lyoto Machida being the most recent, Uriah Hall being another.
“It’s all fun and games to me,” Brunson told MMAjunkie ahead of this fight. “He can say whatever he wants to say, but the fact of the matter is, when you get out there, it’s a different story, and I fought some elite strikers, and I knocked them out. You’ve got a guy that everybody is looking at as an elite striker the media is hyping up – the media loves him. What’s going to happen when I knock him out or I touch that chin? What’s up with your striking then?
“I think it’s very important to be very conscious and understand what you’re getting yourself into because if you get knocked out and you’re this so-called nasty striker, then what are you after that?”
“I’ve seen a lot of holes in Izzy’s game, so don’t be surprised if I knock him out in the first round. I see myself just putting it on him, getting the win, but don’t be surprised if I knock him out in the first round.”
Do you think Derek Brunson can pull of a knockout win against Israel Adesanya?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/1/2018.