The budding rivalry between Derek Brunson and Israel Adesanya will be settled on Nov. 3 when the two middleweight contenders collide at Madison Square Garden at UFC 230.
The UFC formally announced the bout Friday at its 25th Anniversary Press Conference in Los Angeles.
Brunson (18-6) and Adesanya (14-0) have traded fiery, meme-filled insults at one another for weeks on social media, teasing a potential matchup.
The fight represents another big step up in the middleweight division for Adesanya, a charismatic and undefeated up-and-comer who has impressed in his first three Octagon appearances. After debuting in the UFC with wins over Rob Wilkinson and Marvin Vettori, Adesanya proved that he belongs among the top 15 in the 185-pound division with a sensational, one-sided decision victory over Brad Tavares last month at The Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale.
Brunson, meanwhile, saw his two-fight win streak snapped earlier this year with a first-round knockout loss to former Strikeforce champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza. In total, Brunson carries a 9-4 record in the UFC middleweight division win seven of those wins coming by way of first-round stoppage. Past victims of Brunson’s ferocious striking power include Lyoto Machida, Uriah Hall, and Dan Kelly.
UFC 230 takes place on Nov. 3 in New York. The event also features the long-awaited return of lightweight star Nate Diaz in a matchup against top contender Dustin Poirier.
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