Two of the most technical strikers in the UFC Middleweight Division will face off tonight when Derek Brunson meets Anderson Silva, and Brunson believes he holds an advantage over the former champion.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Brunson reflected on his KO victory over Uriah Hall last year and believes Silva’s similar style will give Brunson the edge. “Uriah Hall is on the level of Anderson Silva’s striking,” Brunson said. “I’m not saying better or less than but another striker. And I was able to knock him out moving forward.”
Despite Silva’s recent lack of success, Brunson isn’t looking past this fight and acknowledges Silva is one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. “I’m fighting a guy who is not as fast as he used to be, but this guy has all of the skills in the world and is considered the best fighter of all time,” Brunson said. “So, whereas everybody else is looking at it like losses, I mean, how did he lose? Those fights were all close, and then it was unfortunate events in those fights. So, I think I’m getting a very game and ready fighter.”
Both fighters are looking to get back in the win column after recent losses have derailed title opportunities.
Cervantes Analysis: I don’t think any comparison could be made between Uriah Hall and Anderson Silva and I’m not sure that a victory over Hall means anything. Although Silva has lost some speed and agility over the years, he remains dangerous and is among the most technically skilled fighters in the UFC, so I don’t think Brunson has the edge he thinks he does. Either way, this is a big fight, especially for Silva who hasn’t won a fight in years.
SATURDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Speaking with TSN, Dana White said he and GSP are on good terms but did not say whether they were working on a potential fight.
-Ian McCall has dropped out of tonight’s UFC 208 event, citing gastrointestinal issues. He was scheduled to face Jarred Brooks tonight. McCall was transported to a local hospital with gastro intestinal issues and pulled from the card due to doctor’s orders.
-WWE female wrestler Paige told TMZ sports this week she’s considering a move to MMA. She is dating fellow former WWE wrestler Alberto Del Rio, who is running the Combate Americas MMA league. Paige is 24, and while former MMA fighter Del Rio isn’t considering returning to fighting, Paige says she’s “training like crazy” and will seriously consider the move.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 2/10: Woodley claims he is treated poorly as champion because he is black (w/Cervantes Analysis)
(Jonathan Cervantes has been an avid fan of MMA since 2009 when he saw GSP vs. B.J. Penn 2. He has practiced tae kwon do, jiu-jitsu, and wrestling in the past and is currently a student majoring in entrepreneurship at the University of San Francisco. He writes the MMATorch News Digest on Fridays and Saturdays. Michael Hiscoe writes MMATorch News Digests Sunday through Thursday each week.)
[MMATorch editor Wade Keller contributed to this report]