UFC Melbourne’s Brunson: Winner is ‘definitely one fight away from a title shot‘

Middleweight contender Derek Brunson’s got an idea of what’s in store for him should he win against Robert Whittaker this weekend, and it might be the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

In an interview with Submission Radio, Brunson addressed the possible consequences of a win and where he would stand in the division if that were to happen. (Link to video here if unavailable)

Submission Radio: Talk to us about what you think the earns in terms of rankings and what happens next – do you see yourself as possibly making your way to maybe one fight away from the title shot? Do you think there’s a crazy way you can almost end up with a title shot after Yoel Romero fights Michael Bisping?

Derek Brunson: You know, yeah. Um… five – both of us are on a five-fight winning streak, winner gets six fights, you know? And like you said, yeah. Definitely one fight away from a title shot. But I mean, it could be the next person, be next for a title shot. Being the way that the guys ahead have been beaten, have lost. You know, generally you want to reward guys who have been on big streaks. I mean, you have, you know… a guy coming off of… I mean, this is a premier matchup in the middleweight division, you know? Almost like, “who’s next?“ You know? So yeah.

Brunson certainly makes a good case for himself here. The other option would be the winner of the Jacare Souza/Luke Rockhold fight, which appears to be postponed after Rockhold’s injury earlier this month. With Rockhold ranked at #2 and Jacare at #3, the winner of that fight should rightfully get the next opportunity, but that’s on ice for now. Given those circumstances, it’s not totally unreasonable for the winner of this weekend’s bout to get the next title shot. Mousasi is ranked at #5, but isn’t likely to get the next title shot off a win against Uriah Hall, and Anderson Silva inexplicably stands at #6 despite having only one win since October 2012, a light heavyweight tilt against Stephan Bonnar (his win in January of 2015 against Nick Diaz was overturned to a no contest).

Whittaker and Brunson are ranked at #7 and 8, respectively. With the right set of factors, Brunson could be more correct than he initially thought.

UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs Brunson takes place this Saturday from the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The event will be available for U.S. viewers with the early prelims on Fight Pass followed by the rest of the card on FS1 starting at 10:00pm EST.