WATCH: Israel Adesanya Dissects Derek Brunson With Slick Finish

The Hype is Real… Israel Adesanya is Set to Enter the Top-Five of the Middleweight Division After a Coming of Age Performance Against Derek Brunson…

Born in Nigeria, but raised in New Zealand, Israel Adesanya has only been fighting for the UFC since December of last year. Yet in only 11 months he’s just managed to seal his position as a top-five contender after a slick performance against Derek Brunson.

This was a massive fight for Adesanya. He’s fought three previous times for the UFC, with his most recent previous victory coming against Brad Tavares. An immensely talented kickboxer, this fight was identified as a genuine test of how high ‘The Last Stylebender’s’ ceiling really is.

He’s been pushed hard by the UFC – and understandably. Adesanya represents the new era of MMA fighters. Young, charismatic, excellent at self-promotion on social media, and a great fighter to watch, this is what the promotion is looking for. Adesanya passed his latest test with flying colours, finishing Brunson in the first round.


This was an incredibly stylish performance by ‘The Last Stylebender’. Brunson came into this fight cautious. Although he had previously said he was willing to stand and bang with the New Zealand-based fighter, nobody really believed that. It turned out Brunson didn’t either, as he tried to go for the takedown several times.

However, each time he went for it, Adesanya proved equal with his takedown defence. He was pushed up against the fence a couple of times, and then Brunson was penalised by referee Herb Dean after he was spotted grabbing Adesanya’s shorts twice. No point was deducted but he was given a final warning.


Adesanya showed off his superb agility and composure as Brunson failed to take him down. He was able to sprawl and slip out of numerous attempts as his ability to read his opponent increased. Brunson kept going for the single-leg and it began to become obvious. Instead of leading with punches and then dropping for the takedown, he just went charging forward and what happened next was almost inevitable.

He came in again, looking for the single-leg and then – BANG – he was stunned by a knee straight to the head. Adesanya demonstrated his elite striking ability. Instead of rushing to finish his opponent, he calmly waited for each part of Brunson’s body to open up as he struck him to the head with a brutal kick, punched him to the body and caught him with knees. Finally, Herb Dean intervened and stopped the fight to give Adesanya a 1st round TKO win.

Coming Out

The middleweight division officially has a new young star. It’s a definite boost for the UFC, and they’ll want to be very careful who they put Adesanya against next. There has been talk of him fighting fellow up-and-coming star Paulo Costa, but it would be better to put them against the old guard first. Jacare Souza, Chris Weidman and Luke Rockhold all need to watch out.

The Last Stylebender is coming for you.

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