Middleweight contender, Derek Brunson, was asked to give his insight on the main event of UFC 271. The main event in question features a middleweight title clash between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. The two best middleweights face off for the second time in their careers and the world looks on in anticipation.
Fan opinions have been polarising about how Adesanya vs Whittaker 2 will unfold. Will it be a more even matchup the second time around? Will it throw up the fireworks that Izzy vs Gastelum had? Brunson certainly thinks it won’t be the drab affair of last time around, “I think it’s gonna be a good fight. I think it will be a more competitive fight.”
Derek Brunson analyses the main event
On being asked who he thinks will win the middleweight title, Brunson said, “I think that’s a good question. I think it will look like Izzy-Romero with a little bit more action.” Israel Adesanya fought Yoel Romero on 8th March 2020 at the main event of UFC 248. The two fighters went the distance, squaring up against each other for the full duration of 5 rounds. The fight was an especially uneventful fight where Adesanya took a cautious approach and kept his distance. After Romero invited him to make the first move, and Adesanya refrained from risking it against the wily veteran, it got to a point where the fans jeered the fighters for being lackluster.
While Romero had his moments, a flurry of strikes that harried The Last Stylebender, the Soldier of God couldn’t do enough to make inroads past his opponent’s defense. Consequently, this allowed Israel Adesanya to secure a unanimous decision victory and successfully defend his middleweight title.
Derek Brunson on Whittaker’s approach
When prompted to comment on the fight, Brunson chose to break down the Grim Reaper’s approach. Specifically alluding towards the pace of the fight he said, “I think Whittaker will be able to make a few adjustments. Think he’ll keep the pace slower.”
This same slow pace is what he compared this fight to potentially look like a repeat of Izzy vs Romero. Brunson, who himself goes up against Jared Cannonier at UFC 271, elaborated on the changes the challenger may have made. “He switched up a few things. I think he’s gonna be more patient. Whittaker is pretty aggressive and likes to leap in but he’ll be a little bit more patient this time around and it will slow the fight down.”, he remarked.
Only time will tell if Derek Brunson got it right or not. But this fight is surely going to be worth tuning in for any MMA fan.