Make Derek Brunson the underdog at your own risk.
Disrespect was in the air in August 2020 when Brunson and the then-undefeated Edmen Shahbazyan collided in the main event of UFC Vegas 5. A protege of famed Ronda Rousey trainer Edmond Tarverdyan, Shahbazyan was 5-0 under Zuffa properties and being touted as a potential future title challenger in the UFC middleweight division. His vicious first-round head kick KO of Brad Tavares in his previous fight only further validated those calls.
But Brunson wasn’t impressed. The then 36-year-old had been locked inside the cage with many of the best fighters of his era — Anderson Silva, Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, and Ronaldo Souza — and wasn’t ready to be used as a stepping stone on another up-and-comer’s road to glory.
And so Brunson taught the young prospect a lesson, dominating Shahbazyan as a heavy underdog en route to a TKO stoppage just 26 seconds into the third round.
Watch replay of Brunson’s win above ahead of his main event this Saturday against Darren Till.