Las Vegas, Nevada – With just over 10 years in the world’s biggest MMA promotion, UFC middleweight Derek Brunson is back when he faces Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 285 on Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
“I just feel like this is what I have to do. Sometimes I’m kind of mad that I haven’t been able to try to fight for the title yet, but I’m still here,” Brunson told reporters, including the Cageside Press on Wednesday.
Brunson (23-9) has been sidelined since a knockout loss to Jared Cannonier last February at UFC 271. The layoff hasn’t been too unpleasant for Brunson, he explained.
“I got to spend a lot of time with my kids. So yes, it’s always fun, you know better than anything in life. We’re done with that and now we’re back to fighting,” he said.
Now he steps into the Octagon against Du Plessis, who is no stranger to Brunson.
“This is a person who gets excited. I thought Jack (Hermansson) would be the next fight. I thought he was going to win his fight in short order, the guy took it in short order, but it didn’t happen. So Dricus was the guy that broke out and I’m the guy that’s been here for a while,” Brunson said.
“It was the fight that made the most sense for the UFC.”
Brunson currently sits at #5 in the middleweight rankings, even with the long layoff. In Dricus, he gets an opponent five spots below him, but for the UFC veteran, it’s all about getting a win and fighting for the title.
“I just need a win. If I want to eventually get a shot at Michael Bisping’s title, I’ve just got to come out here and keep winning, hold my ground and be ready,” Brunson said.
Brunson has been around so long that he says Du Plessis isn’t bringing anything new that he hasn’t seen in the Octagon before.
“He’s really not doing anything I haven’t seen before,” Brunson said.
“He’s a tough guy, very forward, comes to fight.”
Watch the entire media fray with Derek Brunson above. Brunson takes on Dricus Du Plessis in the main card of UFC 285 this Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.