Kevin Holland may be reaching the hype right now, but Derek Brunson is one of the most dangerous fighters in the UFC, with numerous violent endings to his name.
In fact, of Brunson’s 12 UFC wins, eight of them ended in defeat, usually with an opponent unconscious.
So, without further ado, here are five times that Derek Brunson absolutely destroyed his opponent in the first round of the UFC.
# 1 Derek Brunson vs. Lyoto Machida – UFC Fight Night 119
Derek Brunson’s biggest UFC win came in 2017 against former UFC welterweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Entering the fight, everything seemed to be complicated in Machida’s favor. The fight was scheduled for the main event of UFC Fight Night 119, which is reserved for Machida’s home country of Brazil.
And more importantly, it was Machida’s first UFC fight in more than two years after a long suspension from USADA.
Basically, the fans present hoped that the Dragon would return with a big win. Unfortunately for them, Brunson had other ideas.
In his best years, Machida was known for his speed. However, against the explosive Brunson, he looked stuck in the mud.
In the middle of the first round Brunson grabbed him with his left hand which startled him. Brunson then overwhelmed him with a brutal barrage that forced the judge to stop the fight.
Brunson ruined the night for many Brazilian UFC fans – but he also treated them to a pretty crazy knockout.
# 2 Derek Brunson vs. Uriah Hall – UFC Fight Night 94
UFC Fight Night 94 is usually remembered as the show she saw Dustin Poirier experienced a shocking knockout by Michael Johnson.
However, the main event happened with an even more explosive knockout, courtesy of Derek Brunson.
He was parried with a fellow knockout artist Uriah Hall, and entering, it seemed that whichever way the fight went, someone started rinsing.
It turned out to be someone Hall. Prime Time initially wanted to release his shots, but after 90 seconds, Brunson apparently decided it was too dangerous to let him out of first gear.
And so he rushed him, charged him with a wild left hook, and finished him on the ground.
This is only the second time that Hall has been stopped in his long career. And by performing such a lauded striker, Brunson sent a big message to the rest of the UFC’s middleweight division – he was a man to be feared.
# 3 Derek Brunson vs. Dan Kelly – UFC Fight Night 110
Known as DadBod for his less flattering physique, Australian judoka Dan Kelly still gained a lot of popularity with UFC fans by 2017.
Entering UFC Fight Night 110 – held in New Zealand – Kelly was in an incredible series of four fights. He even beat a former UFC champion Rashad Evans.
When he arrived in Auckland, he ran into Derek Brunson and very quickly his winning streak was over.
Most fans thought Kelly’s boxing was underrated, but Brunson slipped through it standing up, crushing him with his left hook in the middle of the first round.
Kelly collapsed to the ground first with his face, and just like that, Brunson scored another big knockout victory.
Naturally, the fans present were not happy to see their cult hero fail, but it was hard not to admire a vicious knockout like this.
# 4 Derek Brunson Vs. Sam Alvey – UFC Fight Night 73
Sam AlveyMeeting Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 73 was a clash of knockout artists. And at the time, Smilin Sam had an intimidating reputation.
He used his infamous counter-right hook to knock out three straight UFC enemies, and he wanted to do the same to Brunson.
However, when the fight began, it quickly became clear that Alvey was having problems. He was simply not on an athletic level like Brunson, who could pounce on punches without leaving himself open to counter.
And after just over two minutes of fighting, Brunson decided to really open up. He flooded the entire Smilin Sam with a brutal burst of shots, stunning him with a series of left hands.
Alvey tried to fight back, but simply withered under the wrath of Brunson, who closed the fight when Alvey hit the ground.
This was a brutal reminder that even a skilled fighter like Smilin Sam could be thrilled by Brunson’s sheer explosiveness.
5. Derek Brunson vs. Roan Carneiro – UFC Fight Night 83
In early 2016, the entire UFC middleweight category knew all about Derek Brunson’s ability to explode on an opponent with bursts of heavy blows.
And so, in their clash at UFC Fight Night 83, veteran Roan Carneiro decided to try a different approach.
Instead of waiting for Brunson to come to him, he decided to take the fight to his opponent. And so, in the middle of the first round, Yucao hit Brunson with blows, trying to turn the tables.
It turned out to be a deadly mistake.
Brunson opposed him and planted his right hand, which the cameras barely caught.
And as Carneiro lay on the ground, Brunson followed him and let go of a bit of relentless terrain until the judge concluded he had seen enough.
This finish showed a new fight in Brunson’s game – not only was he able to quickly and devastatingly inform the opponent by rushing them, but he was equally dangerous on the counter.
And four years later, he remains one of the UFC’s most dangerous fighters in the middleweight division.