PFL signs Derek Brunson after UFC exit, intends to compete in $1 million dollar light-heavyweight tournament

By Josh Evanoff - October 5, 2023

Former UFC middleweight contender Derek Brunson is heading to the PFL.

Derek Brunson

The longtime contender hasn’t been seen since a loss to Dricus du Plessis at UFC 285 in March. That was Derek Brunson’s second loss in a row, previously losing to Jared Cannonier last February. While he was later booked for a rebound fight against Roman Dolidze in November, that bout will no longer be happening.

Last month, Derek Brunson was abruptly released from the UFC. Later, it was confirmed that the arrangement was actually a mutual parting of ways. At the time, there was no discussion of his MMA future, and he instead called out Jake Paul.

That was until today when Ali Abdelaziz revealed the news that Derek Brunson was heading to the PFL. The Dominance MMA manager confirmed the news in a recent interview with The Schmo. There, he also revealed that the longtime contender would be heading up to light-heavyweight to compete.


Derek Brunson

Image: @ufc on Instagram

“Derek Brunson has signed with PFL,” Ali Abdelaziz announced the news in a recent interview with The Schmo. “He’s a PFL fighter, he’s going to fight before the end of the year. He did a lot for the UFC, UFC did a lot for him, he had a great career, he had a crazy schedule. Fought [Robert] Whittaker, fought [Israe] Adesanya, fought Kevin Holland, fought all the guys. Now, he’s looking to make a run at the light-heavyweight title for PFL.”

He continued, “You know PFL is growing worldwide, they’re doing great things. Can’t do nothing but respect what they do in there… Sometimes your time is up, the UFC is honestly great about that… It was mutual, it was very respectful, and I’m grateful… He has to move up to light-heavyweight, and probably win a million dollars in the tournament.”

What do you make of this news? Are you excited to see Derek Brunson in the PFL? 


Derek Brunson Professional Fighters League (PFL)