On February 11, 2017, at UFC 208, Derek Brunson fought against MMA icon and former middleweight champion Anderson Silva. The altercation took place at the Brooklyn, New York, Barclays Center. Both sportsmen engaged in a back-and-forth duel that lasted three rounds.
Silva received a unanimous verdict from the three official judges to be named the winner (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). However, some MMA experts felt that Brunson was more deserved of the judges’ decision, including UFC president Dana White and Derek Brunson.
The battle was closely contested; in the first round, Brazilian master of striking Anderson Silva seemed to hit the cleaner blows, while Derek Brunson had the upper hand in terms of punch volume and scored a takedown near the end of the round.
Anderson Silva, a former middleweight champion of the UFC, appeared to dominate the striking exchanges in round two while largely avoiding Brunson’s grappling. Silva continued to focus on striking in the third and final round. With “The Spider” against the mat, Brunson returned to his wrestling background to win the third round.
With scores of 10-9 in rounds two and three for Silva and 10-9 for Brunson, judge Doug Crosby awarded “The Spider” a 29-28 victory. Judge Derek Cleary gave Silva scores of 10-9 in rounds one and three and 10-9 in round two, giving Silva a final score of 29-28 against Brunson.
Moreover, referee Eric Colon gave Silva a 30-27 score, scoring all three rounds 10-9 for him. Yet, some fans and analysts still consider the Brunson matchup to be a heist.
Josh Thomson on Derek Brunson’s upcoming UFC 285 fight against Dricus du Plessis
Since his KO loss to Jared Cannonier in the second round in February 2022, Derek Brunson has not participated in competition. On March 4, 2023, at UFC 285, the 39-year-old middleweight mainstay will make a comeback against the 29-year-old Dricus du Plessis.
On the Weighing In podcast, former UFC lightweight Josh Thomson talked about the match. Thomson implied that if Derek Brunson continually goes to the mat and avoids getting caught on his feet, he would probably defeat Dricus du Plessis.
He cautioned, though, that Du Plessis might make Brunson work hard in round two and rally in round three because Brunson typically tyres by the third round of the fight. According to Thomson
“While Brunson is a sprinter, he makes an effort to be active in order to avoid being stood up. When the third round begins, he isn’t the same fighter he was throughout the first and second rounds. Brunson, in my opinion, ought to win this fight.”