UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has answered Derek Brunson’s callout after UFC Vegas 36.
Brunson immediately cut a promo after stopping Darren Till in the headliner of Saturday’s event, looking in the cageside camera to deliver a message directly to his one-time opponent, who stopped him nearly three years ago to delay his title dreams.
Adesanya, who’s expected to take on another rematch against ex-champ Robert Whittaker, wrote he was just getting his day started across the world in his adopted hometown of New Zealand, where it’s Father’s Day. That provided an opportunity to remind Brunson of their past together.
Adesanya was still a fast-rising contender when he took on Brunson at UFC 230 in November 2018. The fight was expected to be a stern test for “The Last Stylebender,” and the two engaged in a fair amount of verbal warfare that, yes, included Brunson calling his opponent “boy.”
When they met in the octagon, Adesanya quickly showed himself to be the superior fighter, stunning Brunson with knees and punches for a first-round TKO. It was his fourth straight UFC win and was followed by a showdown with former middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
For Brunson, it was back to the drawing board. The now 37-year-old fighter took the role of middleweight gatekeeper, facing prospect after surging prospect and outclassing them all with a combination of smarter striking and wrestling.
On Saturday, Brunson denied middleweight star Till a shot at gold by repeatedly earning takedowns. He survived a scare in the third after taking a hard shot and wound up in mount position after a scramble. Securing a rear-naked choke, he got the tapout at the 2:13 mark of the frame.
Adesanya casually took in the fight, and to no one’s surprise, he wasn’t impressed by what he saw.
“Calm down...boy,” the champ wrote. “You still a bum...son.”
Just woke up, Father’s Day, no breakfast in bed. I’m not mad I’m disappointed.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) September 4, 2021
*proceeds to choose violence*
Calm down…boy.— Israel Adesanya (@stylebender) September 4, 2021
You still a bum…son. pic.twitter.com/8LymB7PLm3
Adesanya is expected to take on Whittaker sometime in 2022, a later timeframe than initially expected due to travel restrictions brought about by coronavirus pandemic.
Brunson, who’s now won five straight, said immediately after his win over Till that he would rather wait to face the winner of the middleweight rematch next year – unless a fight against Jake or Logan Paul somehow materialized.
Another surging middleweight, Jared Cannonier, is also in the waiting line. At the post-fight press conference, Brunson said that fight “isn’t completely off the table,” but favored the title shot next.