A classic striker vs grappler bout of ranked middleweights is set as #7 ranked Derek Brunson (18-6 MMA, 9-4 UFC) takes on #13 ranked Antonio ‘Cara de Sapato’ Carlos Jr. at UFC 227 on August 4 at Staples Centre in Los Angeles, California.
There has been a history of bad blood between these two fighters. Carlos Jr. called out Brunson few weeks after his controversial loss to MMA legend Anderson Silva at UFC 208 in February 2017. Brunson later addressed his fallout after defeating UFC veteran Dan Kelly in June 2017. Now a couple of weeks ago, Brunson has posted a series of callouts on Twitter.
He tweeted, “Ranked top 15 at MW, 5 fight winning streak. Your streak is on notice @caradesapatojr. I’m ready when you are!”. (via Twitter):
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) April 22, 2018
Then he tweeted, “When you were unranked you were calling me out . Now you’re ranked on a nice streak. Quit playing games and sign the contract . You told me before you’d whip my a**, here’s your opportunity! @caradesapatojr “. (via Twitter):
When you were unranked you were calling me out . Now you’re ranked on a nice streak. Quit playing games and sign the contract . You told me before you’d whip my a**, here’s your opportunity! @caradesapatojr @Mickmaynard2 @danawhite @AliAbdelaziz00 🤔
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) April 24, 2018
Brunson has been a middleweight division staple since his debut back in December 2012 however has been unsuccessful in winning important fights after a series of impressive performances. After winning his debut and sophomore fight, Brunson was slated to fight top draw former interim title challenger Yoel Romero in January 2014.
He then was on an impressive five-fight win streak and was slated to fight current UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in November 2016. Brunson had his moments earlier in the round however Whittaker managed to land a vicious head kick to derail Brunson’s train. He then again lost to Anderson Silva via a controversial unanimous decision. However he bounced back with a two-fight first round KO streak and was slated to fight earlier rival highly ranked Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza. Brunson had a chance to make a run towards the title but suffered a crushing defeat against Jacare via TKO.
Carlos Jr. on the other hand is on a five-fight win streak and would look to strangle his trademark rear-naked choke on Brunson.
UFC 227 features a bantamweight rematch between champion TJ Dillashaw and challenger Cody Garbrandt.