clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Israel Adesanya wants to make Derek Brunson ‘repent for his transgressions’ at UFC 230

Israel Adesanya wants to do damage to Derek Brunson at UFC 230

The 29-year-old has been at a war of words with his middleweight counterpart ever since a chance meeting in their hotel was followed by a heated face off at the UFC 25th anniversary press conference in August.

After stealing the show with their back-and-forth banter, Adesanya declared Brunson was “already scared” of what awaited him when they were finally locked horns inside Madison Square Garden.

While the two pugilists are slated to settle their differences on the Nov. 3 card, the recent injury to Luke Rockhold caused speculation over whether either man who step in against Chris Weidman on the night’s main card.

But for Adesanya, he never thought about giving up the chance to trade leather with Brunson.

“I want to whoop [Brunson] first,” Adesanya told Luke Thomas on the latest episode of The MMA Hour. “I know once I beat someone like Weidman, there’s no going back. So I wanted to get this guy out of the way first. He needs to pay for his words. He needs to repent for his transgressions. So I really want to get this guy first and get him out of the way.

“But I told Chris - I saw him in New Jersey when we sat two seats away from each other - and I told him that eventually I’d see him.”

For Adesanya (14-0), a multiple-time kickboxing champion, his fight against Brunson will mark his pay-per-view debut. In his most recent bout, “The Last Stylebender” dismantled another UFC veteran in Brad Tavares en route to a unanimous decision in their main event scrap at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale in July. Prior this the Nigerian striker earned back-to-back wins over Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori to kick off his UFC career earlier this year.

Adesanya ascension up the rankings is about has been as rapid as they come. But on the flip side, standing across from him is one over the most experienced fighters in the 185-pound division.

Brunson (18-6), a three-time Division II All-American Wrestler and former Strikeforce veteran, will be making the walk to the octagon for the 14th time in his career. The North Carolina native most recently came up short against Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza in their main event fight in January. This setback snapped Brunson’s two-fight win streak, which included a skull rattling knockout over former light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.

Combine this with past fights against current champion Robert Whittaker, former champion Anderson Silva and two-time title challenger Yoel Romero, and it’s safe to say there’s not many styles of opponent Brunson hasn’t seen.

Too bad Adesanya isn’t impressed.

“It’s cold out in these streets,” said Adesanya. “I was walking around New York, in Times Square, and I’m imagining ‘man, if you’re a bum in these streets, if you’re homeless, it’s got to be a struggle. So I feel bad for a guy like that who’s just struggling. Just a guys who’s been around this game for so long and he hasn’t even - I don’t even think he’s headlined an event. He’s never been in the spot I’m in and I’ve only had three fight in the company.

“But bad bad blood isn’t bad blood. It’s just another guy. Same sh*t, different night just like my last few opponents. They talk the same game and say the same sh*t and eventually, when they’re in there, they say ‘oh sh*t. I f*ked up.”

While Brunson has indeed headlined three separate cards, the two men share no common opponents. Adesanya, however, already sees Brunson as a step-down from past competition.

“I think [Tavares] would whoop [Brunson],” said Adesanya. “This is M-M-A-T-H-S. That’s MMA Math. It never always works the way you expect it. It’s like rock-paper- scissors. I beat you, you beat the camera guy and and the camera guys beats me. So who’s the best man? It doesn’t really work that way. So you have to understand that you’re the sh*t or you ain’t sh*t. So I have to dot my i’s and cross my t’s and I made sure I did that for this camp.

“We took care of every single thing. This chaos that’s random - I can be random as well but I’m more organized chaos and [Brunson] is just chaotic in his ways. That leaves him really, really dangerous but makes him really, really, really susceptible to my strikes.”

As for what’s next after UFC 230, Adesanya already has his eyes set on UFC gold.

“I’m going to get the strap next,” said Adesanya. “I just have to see how this whole middleweight tournament plays out because it is like a little middleweight tournament happening at UFC 230. So if they others guys suck, their fights are lackluster and Bobby Knuckles [Robert Whittaker] gets past Kelvin Gastelum, then I’ll probably go for the strap next. But, like I said, I don’t move off emotion, I move off strategy and plot. So right now I only have one goal in mind and it’s that bum Derek Brunson. So the my focus is on him and the strap is just something I’ll grab along the way.”

“Same sh*t, different night and then I’m going under those lights.”

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting