Ian Heinisch wants Derek Brunson after UFC on ESPN+ 10 win: 'I just feel I can beat him'

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – After improving to 2-0 in the UFC on Saturday night with an impressive victory over Antonio Carlos Junior, Ian Heinisch isn’t afraid to aim high.

Specifically, he wants a piece of Derek Brunson, who is fresh of a victory over Elias Theodorou earlier this month.

“I just feel I can beat him, you know?” Heinisch said of Brunson to reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Blue Cross Arena. “I’m believing it, and once I believe it, you know, it seems to come true. I believe in that right now and just watching his fight didn’t impress me that much, and I would like to fight him.“

It’s not too hard to understand why Heinisch was feeling confident after his victory in the UFC on ESPN+ 10 co-feature bout. Junior came into the night on a five-fight win streak, with submissions in each of his past three. And he immediately put Heinisch in a bad way, so much so that it appeared Heinisch would be his next submission victim.

But Heinisch bulled his way out of the bad spot, and then won Rounds 2 and 3 in a clear-cut manner, leaving no doubt who was the better man on the evening. 

“Honestly, I was expecting a first-round finish, but he was just elusive,” Heinisch said. “He got at me in a bad position in the first round, but I’m no stranger to adversity. I weathered the storm and then going into the second round I just felt like that was all he had. I let him wear himself out a little bit and then I came out in the second, and I was like this is my time now.”

After a performance like that, the Factory X product says he expects a number next to his name when the next middleweight rankings come out. And a fight that can prove he belongs among the elite. 

“I think that’s going to get a number next to my name, hopefully by Monday, then I’m looking at a top 10. Jack Hermannson, man, he’s just killing it right now, and I’d love to get him. Derek Brunson, I’d love to fight him. So either one of those guys comes to mind,” Heinisch said. “But anyone in the top 10 will do. I want someone that, too we can really do something for the fans, because it’s kind of me fighting off these jiu-jitsu guys. It’s exciting, man, but obviously it’s not the most exciting fight, but I’m doing what I gotta do to win.” 

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 10, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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