In stunning fashion, Derek Brunson, a former wrestler for the Braves and UNCP alum, finished Uriah Hall with TKO punches in the co-main event at UFC Fight 94 in the first round.
Brunson, who was an All-American for the Black and Gold’s wrestling team, competed for UNCP from 2002-2007.
Now in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Brunson has quickly ascended to become one of the top middle weight contenders in the company.
UFC Fight Night 94 was Brunson’s biggest test so far in his young career.
In front of him stood one of the most brutal and technical strikers that the UFC has to offer, middleweight Hall.
Hall has a reputation as being a knockout artist and he is known to finish fights quickly.
The 6’1” UNCP alum was up for the task though on Sept. 17 in Hidalgo, Texas.
Brunson put on the performance of his career thanks to dominating strikes that caught the eyes of many in the UFC and the middleweight division.
Early in the fight Brunson held Hall against the cage and he was able to land a knee that connected to the head of Hall.
The knee seemed to rattle Hall and took the confident striker out of his element.
Seconds later Brunson capitalized on Hall by landing a huge left hook that sent the Jamaican to the ground.
Brunson pounced on Hall and started to throw short punches on the ground.
Referee Herb Dean stepped and stopped the fight after he gave Hall the chance to recover from Brunson's onslaught of punches.
After the fight in his post fight octagon interview Brunson stated “Its about time that I get that title shot. Im next in line.”
Stopping Hall was a big moment in Brunsons career as he became the first fighter to beat the Jamaican by TKO.
“Yeah I stopped Uriah Hall, I have stopped everyone I have fought and the only guy I lost to got popped for PED’s,” said Brunson in the interview.
Now sitting at 16-3 the former UNCP wrestler is in contention to fight for the middleweight championship.
Brunson sits at No.8 in the current UFC rankings for the middleweight division.