Israel Adesanya needed less than one round to dispatch of Derek Brunson while sending a serious message to the rest of the middleweight division.
The undefeated sniper used his pinpoint accuracy and devastating power to slice and dice Brunson throughout the opening round en route to a TKO victory at UFC 230.
On paper, this was the toughest matchup of Adesanya’s UFC career while going against a legitimate top 10 ranked opponent but he actually looked better than ever while getting a first round finish on Saturday night.
Coming into the fight, Brunson was doing his best not to give Adesanya any room to work because he’s deadliest at a distance but the former college wrestler just couldn’t find a way inside without eating a barrage of punches.
When Brunson finally dove forward with his head down looking for the takedown, Adesanya cracked him with a huge knee strike that rattled him and signaled that the end was coming soon.
Adesanya never wasted a single punch with seemingly every shot landing on target and while Brunson’s chin held up through a few strikes, he was just moments away from being finished.
A pair of stiff punches dropped Brunson to the ground and as he stumbled to get back up the last shot, the referee swooped into prevent any further damage from being inflicted as Adesanya celebrated his handiwork.
The end came at 4:51 into the opening round.
— UFC (@ufc) November 4, 2018
“This was like a walk in the park. This was a walk in the Garden. Madison baby,” Adesanya said to the cheering New York crowd.
“I keep saying — I don’t throw on hope. I aim and fire.”
With this latest win, Adesanya moves to 15-0 as a pro and will likely take a jump in the rankings thanks to this lopsided win over Brunson. With the middleweights occupying every spot on the main card outside of the heavyweight headliner, Adesanya set the bar early with his performance and likely set himself up for a potential title contender bout when he returns in 2019.