Since he made his UFC debut in February, undefeated striker Israel Adesanya has so far shown that he is of top contender status. His style and body type has even opened up comparisons between him and former light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
While many are impressed with “The Last Stylebender”, his opponent Derek Brunson is not one of them.
“A lot of people are high on [Adesanya], a lot of people believe in him, but I’m not too much of a believer,” Brunson said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday (via ESPN.com). “I can’t trick myself. Every fight, I train for the opponent very hard and smart. I’ll do that for myself. But I’m not a believer in the kid. I think he’s a good striker. I don’t think he’s a great striker.”
Despite Adesanya’s physical attributes as well as his recent win over Brad Tavares that earned him a Performance of the Night bonus, Brunson is not too worried about their fight at UFC 230 and how it will go down.
”I’m not a guy who is going to let you dictate or do whatever you want to. I’m not impressed by this kid,” Brunson said of his next opponent. “His striking is OK. He’s long, which is the best thing going for him. Doesn’t hit hard. This is the fight I like. One of the easiest matchups I’ll have in the UFC. One of the easiest people to prepare for.”
UFC 230 will serve as the company’s annual New York City card, which will take place on November 3rd at Madison Square Garden. No headliner fight has been determined as of this posting, but other confirmed fights are between Paulo Henrique Costa and Yoel Romero, as well as a lightweight matchup between Dustin Poirier and Nate Diaz.