The look on Derek Brunson’s face after the result for his fight with Anderson Silva was read out loud tells the whole story about how he felt about the decision.
Despite feeling confident that he had done enough to win arguably the biggest fight of his career, Brunson was absolutely stunned to hear that the three judges sitting cageside had all scored the fight in Silva’s favor after three rounds.
Brunson went on the attack after the fight by blasting the judges who scored the fight and his simmering anger reached a boiling point after he went back and rewatched the bout once he returned home from Brooklyn.
Article continues below ...
“I rewatched it like 15 minutes ago. Just from myself analyzing and making sure that I’m getting better, but yeah there’s no way Anderson Silva won that fight,” Brunson told FOX Sports on Monday. “The best thing to look at, and somebody brought this to my attention, if the stats were the opposite way around, who wins that fight?
“I heard some fans say ‘the only time he let you hit him was in the clinch and he was basically letting you’. What? Anderson knees people in the face from the clinch. That guy is a world class Muay Thai fighter.”
The statistics from the fight show Brunson out landed Silva 54-43 in significant strikes and 118-54 in total strikes over three rounds while also taking down the former middleweight champion two times over 15 minutes.
When the fight was over, Brunson was proud of his performance because he attacked Silva with a smart strategy rather than just gunning for the early knockout as he had done in his most recent performances.
Brunson was tactical with his offense and measured with his responses when Silva went on the attack. Brunson also refutes claims that he was somehow drawn into the mystique of Silva, which resulted in a less aggressive performance than he would typically put on in a fight.
“I wasn’t in awe. I wasn’t nervous. I wasn’t scared. I wasn’t not (sic) pulling the trigger. I was being a smarter fighter than I was. That’s the whole point. Anderson is a counter fighter. He’s looking to counter, he’s sharp with his counters,” Brunson explained.
“I grew up watching Anderson. He was my favorite fighter. But I was not in awe. We’re in a fight, we’ve got to fight and somebody’s got to win this fight. I’ve got to win this fight. I don’t care about how much I like you.”
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Brunson makes it clear that his anger about the decision has nothing to do with Silva or the way he fought at UFC 208. The only people who have angered Brunson during this entire ordeal are the three judges who scored the fight sitting cage side.
“It definitely was a robbery. Here’s what I’ll say to the judges — you guys love Anderson Silva, you guys are in awe of Anderson Silva. You didn’t show up tonight and do your job,” Brunson said. “What you did was show up to watch the fight. You didn’t score the fight. I watched with Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier commentating on the fight and they made a valid point that every time Anderson moved, the crowd went crazy. It’s Anderson Silva. I got caught up in that. The judges got caught up in that.
“They didn’t score the fight. They just looked at the fight and every time Anderson moved they were just like ‘we’ve got to give it to him, he looks like he’s doing a lot’. Those guys didn’t show up for work that night. They really didn’t. Those judges they stunk it up.”
When it comes to scoring the fight, Brunson knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he deserved to win rounds one and three with the second round still being close enough that he could potentially give that one to Silva.
Two judges — Eric Colon and Derek Cleary — gave round one to Silva while all three judges, including Doug Crosby, gave the third round to Silva unanimously.
“I hear a lot of people saying Anderson won the first round. How?” Brunson said. “I counted up the strikes. 39 to 8 on the strikes. I scored leg kicks, I scored the jab, I hit him 39 times, he hit me eight. I watched the fight again and I counted. I hit him 39 times in the first round.
“I win the Octagon control and I out struck him. How the hell does he win the first round?”
Silva vs. Brunson scorecard
Brunson says he went ‘numb’ after the decision was rendered because what should have been the biggest achievement to date in his career instead shows as a loss on his record. In the days since the fight ended, Brunson says he’s received a ton of messages over social media attacking him for being so upset about the way the fight played out.
Brunson explains that fighting isn’t like any other sport where there’s another game the next day or a chance to come back in a playoff series. There’s only one chance to win and Brunson knows in his heart that he deserved to get the victory over Silva at UFC 208.
“I hear the most moronic responses like I’m not supposed to care. After today, I’m done talking about it and I’m moving on, but I’m not supposed to care?” Brunson said. “I just lost money. I put myself in the line. MMA in my opinion is the hardest sport in the world, no doubt. For the compensation versus what you put on your body, how much you have to go from this place to that place to get training, it’s a hard sport. It’s a fight.
“I’ve heard some of the craziest rebuttals that are just so uneducated. Saying ‘those shots in the clinch didn’t matter’ or ‘you’re younger, you should have been more aggressive.’ Yeah, go get knocked out.”
As far as the future goes, Brunson was already back in the gym on Monday to begin preparing for his next fight and he hopes the UFC books him for another matchup very soon.
Despite the controversial decision at UFC 208, Brunson says he’s moving past Silva and at this point really has no interest in a rematch with him. He just wishes he had been awarded the victory the first time around when he earned it.
“No, I’m not even interested,” Brunson said. “Honestly no, I’m not really interested. I’m not trying to get caught in that whole circus again.”