Derek Brunson Discusses Jake Paul Call Out Following PFL Debut, Interested in Bout with Bellator Champion Johnny Eblen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Derek Brunson recently fought under a different banner for the first time since 2012, coming out with a dominant victory. The former UFC middleweight now has his sights set on potential fights against Jake Paul or Johnny Eblen.

At the opening bout of the 2023 PFL Championship, Brunson made his promotional debut against Ray Cooper III. Despite a minor setback when he got rocked by Cooper, the fight ended in a one-sided unanimous decision win due to Brunson’s superior wrestling skills. In his post-fight interview, Brunson voiced his desire to fight Jake Paul.

“I came here to ball, where the hell is Jake Paul?” Brunson exclaimed during his in-cage post-fight interview with Dan Hardy. “I want to put PFL on the map. They showed faith in me, brought me over here, signed me, and I want to put on a show for the fans.”

Paul, 26, has begun preparing to make his MMA debut late in 2024 after beginning his combat sports career in boxing. Brunson, 39, is eager to test Paul’s skills in both disciplines.

“We might could do a 1-1,” Brunson told MMA Junkie. “I came here for big fights, put on big shows. The fact of the matter is, PFL is a great organization. There’s six millionaires tonight. I don’t know if that happened in any other promotion.”

Paul isn’t the only option on Brunson’s radar. Since the PFL acquired Bellator, the promotion has been teasing an upcoming event that will see each promotion’s champions take on one another. While the PFL does not have a middleweight champion, Bellator does in Eblen. Brunson would be up for that matchup as well.

“I saw Johnny after I left the cage, he was like, ‘What’s up, man? Congrats on the fight. Let’s get a big fight. Let’s make some money,’” Brunson said. “I’m like hey, let’s talk about it. There’s option’s here, man. The purchase with Bellator was great. A lot of top guys over there. Now it’s a collab. The sky’s the limit for PFL right now.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2023 PFL Championship.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie


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