UFC Ottawa: Derek Brunson Explains How Getting “Greedy” Cost Him Against Israel Adesanya

Derek Brunson suffered a devastating loss at the hands (and knee) of Israel Adesanya last November, and the middleweight contender says being “greedy” led to his downfall. How so?

Brunson faced the now interim champ at UFC 230 last November, and was taken out by the vaunted striker in the opening round. Fast forward to today, and Brunson is getting set to face Elias Theodorou at UFC Ottawa.

Well, due to how his bout with Adesanya unfolded, and the beef the fighters had leading up to the contest, not surprising, Brunson’s fielded questions about it during fight week. Here’s some of what the heavy-handed wrestler had to say about it (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“Sometimes, I get in the way of my own self,” Brunson said. “Like, I know by far I’m a better grappler than him. So going into the fight, my previous fights, I just got too greedy with the hands. I’m just headhunting, trying to knock people out.

“I said in (the Adesanya) fight, I’m not going to do that. I’m going to wrestle, wrestle, wrestle. And I’m shooting without any setup of the hands, and I shoot in one time, and he catches me with a knee. I was a little dazed, and I was like, ‘C’mon, let’s fight.’”

Lots of folks thought Brunson would / should come with a wrestling-centric approach against Adesanya. While he did attempt 7 takedown attempts, Adesanya defended all of them, and clearly, Brunson isn’t happy with how he set them up.

The bout with Theodorou is a crucial one for Brunson, as he’s dropped four of his last six fights now. Theodorou, meanwhile, has won three straight and is looking to move into the top ten with a win. As UFC Ottawa nears, the Canadian’s ranked #13 while the American Brunson is #9.