Derek Brunson: ‘I’m Not Worried About Jacare Souza’s Jiu-Jitsu’
Brunson is coming into the bout on a two-fight win streak with wins over Dan Kelly and Lyoto Machida. With Souza known for his deadly ground game and jiu-jitsu, many are expecting Brunson to want to keep the fight on the feet. Speaking to the UFC Unfiltered podcast this week though, Brunson said he wouldn’t come into the bout fearing taking the fight to the mat.
“I feel 100-percent confident on the ground,” Brunson said, “I’ve rolled with top level black belts, a couple of years ago, or a year and a half ago, I was preparing to a fight a third-degree black belt on the ground, so I found another guy who was a third-degree black belt in jiu-jitsu also, and we would go over a lot of stuff and he was like ‘dang’, he was surprised of the awareness I have when it comes to jiu-jitsu.
So, I’m good on the ground and I’m not worried about Jacare’s jiu-jitsu. I’ve been training BJJ for seven years now and wrestling has been my strong point.”
Brunson and Souza faced each other back in 2012 where the Brazilian won the fight via TKO just 41-seconds into the first round. Suffice to say, Brunson doesn’t see the fight going a similar way.
“No, it was so long ago,” Brunson said. “It’s a rematch, but when I first fought him I was very green in the sport. It’s kinda like a new matchup to me. I’ve got new skills and I have a lot more experience now. I know what I’m facing and he knows what he’s facing now.
“I’m ready you know I’m cocky with every fight that I have,” he continued. “It’s just a matter of being calculated, not rushing, taking your time, and making the most of the big moments.”