Derek Brunson clutched an impressive victory against previously undefeated Edmen Shahbazyan in the headliner of UFC Fight Night on Saturday, August 1.
The win marks the third in a row for Brunson, mainting his win streak of nearly two years. He currently ranks seventh in the middleweight division rankings, but he has plenty of room to grow with a few more quality wins under his belt.
Nevertheless, many look at the 36-year-old as the “gatekeeper” of the division: anyone who gets past him goes on to do great things, and everyone who does not eventually peaks before making it to the top.
Those who believe this say that his ranking represents a turning point in the division, with those above him being more skilled fighters and many of those below him representing hopeful upstarts who are looking to make a name for themselves.
I believe that this is a criminally unfair claim, as Brunson has shown that he can compete with anyone that is put in front of him. He has victories against some of the toughest fighters in the class, including Uriah Hall and Lyoto Machida.
If given more confidence as a contender, Brunson could pull out a victory against nearly any competitor with his resilience and knowledge of the game. If he is able to keep his momentum rolling, look for Brunson to follow the same career trajectory as many others who reached their peaks later in their career.
Do you think Brunson can take out some of the bigger names in front of him? Let us know in the comment section below!
Written by: Jerry Markarian