Israel Adesanya got a chance to show off his takedown defense in the opening minutes of his fight with Derek Brunson tonight at UFC 230, but then late in the round he flicked on a switch, went into attack mode and picked apart his opponent with precision strikes to emerge with an impressive TKO victory.
Adesanya takes the center of the Octagon to start. Brunson in on a takedown attempt and gets a body lock as Adesanya tries to fight him off.
Brunson walks him up to the cage. Adesanya complains about Brunson grabbing his shorts twice and the referee agrees and separates them and gives the fighter a warning.
Leg kick for Adesanya. Brunson in on the takedown, but gets desparate with it and fails, with Adesanya stepping away as Brunson remains on his knees.
However, Brunson continues to press and works for the takedown again, pressing him up to the cage. Adesanya finds space for a moment, but gets clipped by a left hand.
Brunson working again for the takedown and Adesanya stuffs it well. It’s not long before Brunson tries again and Adesanya is starting to see them coming now and stuffs it quicker than before.
Left head kick from Adesanya. Brunson presses into the body lock against the cage. Adesanya gets away.
Now Adesanya turns up the heat in the striking department and lands a big knee that hurts Brunson as he comes in. Suddenly Adesanya has switched from takedown defense to all out offense and he punishes Brunson with a big head kick and then a punch behind it that drops him. Brunson back up but it’s not long before he’s down again as a punch lands and the ref steps in to save him from further punishment.
Terrific performance then from Adesanya who claims a TKO victory with 4.51mins on the clock and confirms that he has what it takes to become a star in the UFC.