LAS VEGAS – Derek Brunson is aware of there may be far at stake in his UFC Warfare Evening 191 headliner with Darren Till, and now not all of it boils down to the place he’ll stand in the rankings.
With Till firmly established as one of the sport’s biggest trolls on social media, Brunson isn’t about to give him ammunition.
“I mean, it’s all fun and games,” Brunson said of the pair’s pre-combat banter. “We took our jabs at each various, had a little little bit of fun. Now it’s combat week. It’s trade time, so the goal is to now not be the particular person that’s going to be a meme after this, what I mean?”
Brunson (22-7 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC) headline Saturday’s UFC Warfare Evening 191 event, which takes place at the UFC Apex and streams are residing on ESPN+. It’s a substantial combat at 185 kilos, with Brunson coming in ranked No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings and Till checking in at No. 10.
But it feels especially substantial for Brunson, who’s using a four-combat winning streak and now headlines his third consecutive UFC event.
“I would without a doubt say right here’s the easiest stretch of my career,” Brunson told MMA Junkie. “We’re getting it achieved against these younger, involving, hungry guys who’ve been placing together streaks, earning a combat against a tough, savvy veteran.”
Meanwhile, Till has proven one of probably the most marketable opponents in the promotion, helped in no small part by his daring social media presence. But “The Gorilla” does seem to be in need of a obvious result after struggling thru a 1-3 stretch in present times – albeit against top competition.
Brunson said it’s important when evaluating an opponent to now not fair gaze at wins and losses, but also performances in those contests.
“I watched a lot of Darren Till – , he’s very tough,” Brunson said. “On this game, you’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some, but the game is to win way more than you lose – and I wouldn’t say all of his losses were straight, treasure, he obtained annihilated. A couple of his losses, he was winning the combat and obtained caught, ? So treasure, those are the things that I take from a combat. I dissect it and gaze at it treasure that and then understand the ability state that he possesses and then plan it with that.”
Meme considerations aside, there are various meaningful implications in the contest for Brunson’s future. At 37, he’s now not exactly old in the sport, but he also can’t be patient in any planned accelerate to the title. With an spectacular win right here, Brunson believes he has a real case to be next in line for the upcoming combat between middleweight champ Israel Adesanya and veteran titleholder Robert Whittaker.
“I’m without a doubt having a gaze at it as a potential #1 contender combat,” Brunson said. “Accurate being with what I’ve achieved – , four fights in a row against these guys that were supposed to be contending for titles. If I didn’t give these guys the hiccups, then they may be talking about these guys combating for titles.
“I mean, I bear in thoughts they were talking about Ian Heinisch; he is available in and seems to be really lawful early, and they were saying, ‘Man, this man, he’s trending to be the next title challenger.’ I shut him down, then (Edmen) Shahbazyan came around, and all people was talking about the youngest champion, and I sat him down. Then (Kevin) Holland came, 5 in a row. He beats me, his trash talk was already directed towards ‘Izzy,’ so treasure that was having a gaze treasure a combat that was 100 p.c going to be made, , so I state that down. So, treasure, I if I exit right here and attain Till, without a doubt 5 in a row wants to be next after ‘Izzy’ and Whittaker.”
Nothing, unnecessary to say, is guaranteed in the UFC. Circumstances change regularly, and title shots aren’t always given completely thru the advantage of a winning streak. That said, an spectacular performance would certainly assist his case.
“I’m fair going to attain my factor, present my progress, and I’m going to take my time and let the combat form,” Brunson said. “You already know, I’m having a gaze to obtain the attain, but at the same time, I’m now not in a speed.
“Till says he wants to attain it in the first spherical, so maybe he’ll be in a speed. If you happen to want to advance combat treasure that, I’m OK with him bringing the combat, pushing the pace, so I’m lawful on the alternative hand the combat goes. I fair want to exit there and obtain a attain and make absolute self assurance that I wants to be next.”
Derek Brunson aims to earn title shot with Darren Till win – and avoid becoming a meme