Derek Brunson: PFL Contract ‘Definitely Upgrade’ From UFC

Derek Brunson

For Derek Brunson, the opportunity to not only continue fighting elite talent but also be compensated for it led him to PFL.

Brunson signed with the promotion late last year following an extended run with the UFC.

While he holds no negative thoughts towards his former bosses, he understands that getting his worth made the change the right call.

“Just being comfortable with how they’re taking care of you makes a big difference,” Brunson said during an interview with MMA Fighting. “They took care of me and I wanted to go out there and get the win, and still incentivize the win, but definitely an upgrade from my previous payday.

“If you get the right athletes, any athlete fighting at a high level wants to win. They’re not going to go out there and just say, ‘Oh, I got paid a lot of money, I’m going to lose.'”

Derek Brunson Scored Key Win in PFL Debut

The 39-year-old Brunson made his PFL debut in November, scoring a decision win over former champion Ray Cooper III. The win moved his record to 24-9 overall including a 6-2 mark since 2019.

During his stretch of wins in the UFC, Brunson topped Kevin Holland, Darren Till and Lyoto Machida. He lost to fighters such as top contender Dricus du Plessis, former champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier in a title eliminator bout in 2022.

“I fought everybody,” Brunson said. “I did it because it’s a big fight and I wanted to put on for the fans and put on a big fight.

“These are fights that I didn’t have to take but I took those risks and I really wanted to put on a good fight and give the fans something good.”

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