No. 8 ranked middleweight Derek Brunson got back in the column on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland, New Zealand by knocking out No. 15 ranked Daniel Kelly in the opening round of the fight card’s co-main event.
The two southpaws stood right in front of each other from the sound of the opening bell. Brunson landed first with a leg kick. Both missed with big left hands before Brunson landed a straight left that sent Kelly crashing to the canvas face down. Brunson followed up with two more shots before the referee could stop the action. The fight lasted 76 seconds.
Brunson was coming off a controversial loss to former middleweight champion Anderson Silva in his last outing in February. With the win, he looks to climb the 185-pound rankings toward a title shot.
“I’ve just been working on my striking. I work really hard. I was cheated my last fight. I’m sure you guys saw with Anderson Silva. I have to make sure I come out here and finish guys so it doesn’t happen again,” said Brunson following the fight. “It’s been a hard couple of months getting over that Anderson fight. To come out here and perform, I feel great.”
Asked who he’s like to face next, Brunson didn’t call out a ranked fighter. He called out Brazilian Antonio Carlos Junior, who defeated Eric Spicely by submission at UFC 212 on June 3 and called him out.
“I’m working my toward that title shot. Some guy just got a victory last week, Antonio Carlos Junior, I don’t really care about rankings. You talk trash, let’s do it. Antonio Carlos Junior, let’s do it,” he said.