In the Clinch - UFC middleweight Derek Brunson streaking at the right timeIn the Clinch – UFC middleweight Derek Brunson streaking at the right time – Derek Brunson is rolling in the UFC middleweight division.

At 37 years old, the North Carolina product is riding a four-fight win streak and is in the conversation for a middleweight title shot. But on Saturday, No. 7 and former welterweight title contender Darren Till will be across from him in the octagon.

Ever since Brunson (22-7-0) adjusted from trying to blitz opponents to using seasoned aggression, the wins have piled up. From prodigies like Edmen Shahbazyan and Kevin Holland to ground specialists like Ronaldo Souza, Brunson knows a big win over a noted striker like Till (18-3-1) will put him near the top of the list.

Till is returning to action since a loss to champion Robert Whittaker at UFC on ESPN 14 in July 2020. The 28-year-old Brit is struggling, having lost three of his last four, but is still ranked No.7. Till is healthier and more comfortable since moving up to middleweight. His mentality is the only question at this point. If Brunson is not prepared, it could be a long Saturday night.

Both fighters will likely have some tricks up their sleeves in Las Vegas.

Can Till dictate the fight with his striking? Can Brunson stay patient and get the fight to the ground?

It should be a top-level chess game.

Looking at the top of the division, No. 3 Jared Cannonier recently defeated No. 9 Kelvin Gastelum. No. 1 Whittakeralso defeated Gastelum in April. And No. 2 Paulo Costa is scheduled to face No. 4 Marvin Vettori in October.

Champion Israel Adesanya beat Vettori in June at UFC 263, so Brunson needs to keep pace.

Brunson has been in the UFC nearly 10 years. In fact, Chris Leben (remember him?) was his first UFC opponent way back in December 2012.

Now, the retired “Crippler” will be watching from the sofa like the rest of us Saturday afternoon as Brunson and Till settle their affairs.

Enjoy the fights.

In the Clinch – UFC middleweight Derek Brunson streaking at the right time – Resources

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