Coming off a tough loss at UFC Fight Night 101 last November to Robert Whittaker, UNCP Alumni Derek Brunson was in need of a rebound fight.
Brunson, who is known for being one of the UFC’s most exciting and upcoming talented prospects was rewarded with a chance to fight one of the pioneers of the sport of MMA, Anderson “The Spider” Silva.
The two fought last week on Feb. 11 at UFC 208 in the Barclays Center located in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Heading into the fight Brunson was confident that he would be able take out Silva, who many consider to be the greatest mix martial athlete of all time.
Brunson a former wrestler for UNCP has adapted from a strategic approach of using more of his stand up fighting tools rather than focusing on the ground.
With Brunson's focus more on standup, experts from around the MMA community were predicting this bout could be a candidate for fight of the night at UFC 208.
Silva’s reputation has solely been based off of his elite kickboxing techniques and his ability to adapt to nearly every situation.
With both fighters coming off of tough losses, each was looking for redemption in this 185-pound middleweight bout.
UNCP alum Brunson got off to quick start in the opening moments of the match by exchanging with 41-year-old Silva.
The bout stayed on the fight for the majority of the fight and neither fighter seemed to have a clear edge over the other.
After three rounds of battling, the fight ended with the winner coming down to the judges score cards.
In a controversial decision, many experts believed Brunson won, the judges sided with Silva in a unanimous decision.
It was the first win the legendary fight had won in over four years after coming off a broken leg in a fight against Chris Weidman.
While Silva’s night was a pleasant one, Brunson was furious with the judges decision.
In a social media post Brunson said, “Wow unreal I put my heart & soul out there on 3 weeks notice only to get it taken from me.I just outclassed the greatest of all time.”
After being one win away from a title, shot Brunson now a loser of two straight will need win soon to stay in title contention.