Photo by Mitch Viquez
On Saturday night, the UFC will return to Madison Square Garden in New York City with UFC 230. One of the most interesting fights on the bill is a middleweight contender bout between pinpoint striker Israel Adesanya and ferocious wrestler Derek Brunson.
Given that Israel Adesanya is easily one of the best strikers to transition from kickboxing to MMA, the widespread expectation is that, if he defeats Derek Brunson at UFC 230, it will probably be by knockout. Adesanya shares this feeling himself, especially given that Brunson has been knocked out quite recently.
“He’s been knocked out too many times,” Israel Adesanya told Adam Glyn of Derek Brunson. “That’s just a habit. Your brain remembers that type of shit. Certain guys, when you get to a point, you get touched on the chin, your brain is like, ‘oh shit, we’re having this shit again, alright shut down.’ That’s a habit for him. With a striker like me, you don’t want me to touch your chin.”
While Adesanya feels that he is likely to knock Brunson out, he also feels that he could submit the wrestler if the knockout doesn’t materialize.
“First round or second knockout,” he said, offering up a prediction for the fight. “If not it’s going to be a submission. My first submission in MMA.”
Since joining the UFC in 2018, Israel Adesanya has gone 3-0, defeating Rob Wilkinson by TKO, Marvin Vettori by split decision, and most recently, long-time contender Brad Tavares by unanimous decision. With these wins, he improved to a perfect 14-0 in mixed martial arts.
Do you think Israel Adesanya can submit Derek Brunson at UFC 230 if the knockout win doesn’t materialize?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/1/2018.