Derek Brunson is looking for a new opponent and already has someone in mind. At 38, Brunson, a fighter out of Kill Cliff FC, lost a No. 1 contender fight in February to Jared Cannonier. The North Carolina native is now looking to get back on track against Sean Strickland.
Brunson posted on Twitter calling out Strickland earlier in the week. Controversial middleweight Sean Strickland responded on Instagram days later. Brunson, a product of Kill Cliff, is the No. 4 ranked UFC middleweight, while “Tarzan” is the No. 7 ranked contender.
UFC London had a star-studded fight night with a handful of UFC fighters in attendance. Brunson was at the event and interviewed on MMA Island, where he explained the Strickland match:
“Two guys who fumbled the bag. Now I’m going to fight and beat him.”
Brunson refers to himself losing the No. 1 contender fight and Strickland losing to Alex Pereira in a match that could have earned him a title shot. ‘Tarzan’ seems interested in returning to the octagon soon, but the North Carolina native believes he needs to recover from his loss to Pereira first.
Watch Derek Brunson’s interview with MMA Island below:
Derek Brunson suggests timeline for Sean Strickland fight
Strickland did not like Brunson’s idea of waiting until the end of the year. Brunson wanted to take a few months off so that “Tarzan” could recover from his devastating knockout against Pereira.
During the same interview, Brunson had this to say about wanting Strickland to recover and the timing of their potential fight:
“He’s just suffered a bad loss. I think it’s in his interest to take some time off, pull himself together, pull himself together. I know he wants to get back out there and fight. I have talked to the UFC, and we’re talking late November, early December.”
The November/December timeline gives both fighters time to fully recover. Both fighters are running out of time to become champions and need to be smart with their fight decisions. If this fight happens, one will come back into the title conversation, and the other will likely face a crossroads in his career.