Bellator Champion Johnny Eblen & Derek Brunson Ready for PFL Pay-Per-View Fight

Bellator middleweight champion Johnny Eblen is eager to fight UFC veteran Derek Brunson in the PFL, expressing confidence in his abilities and a desire to prove himself against top-tier competition.

Johnny Eblen, the Bellator middleweight champion, is itching for a fight. However, the PFL doesn’t have his division, so a champ vs. champ fight in their 2024 pay-per-view event is off the table.

Eblen’s not out of options though. Derek Brunson, a UFC veteran who recently made a successful PFL debut, is a potential opponent. If Brunson’s game, Eblen’s ready to sign up right away.

Eblen’s all for it. He told MMA Fighting, “I would love to fight him.” He’s clearly excited about the prospect of going up against a seasoned fighter like Brunson.

Brunson’s no newbie. After an 11-year stint with UFC, he’s now with PFL. His goal? To breathe new life into his career.

Brunson’s got plans to join the light heavyweight tournament in 2024. But he’s open to a middleweight fight with Eblen.

Brunson thinks Eblen’s a top contender. He’s heard that Eblen dominated Sean Strickland, though he admits it’s just hearsay. But he’s confident in his abilities to win a fight against Eblen.

Eblen’s ranked among the top middleweights in MMA. But he’s often discredited for competing outside the UFC. This affects how he’s perceived among the elite fighters at 185 pounds.

A fight against Brunson could boost Eblen’s reputation. It would be a significant addition to his résumé as he strives to establish himself as a top fighter in his division.

“Brunson is a good name to add to the list,” Eblen said. He’s determined to take out any UFC veteran he can. He believes this is what he needs to do to make a name for himself.

Eblen was impressed by Brunson’s fight against Ray Cooper. He thought Brunson showed smart fighting and good wrestling ability. However, he thinks the fight would have been different if elbows were allowed.

Brunson’s open to a February fight if PFL agrees. Despite the quick turnaround from his November fight, he’s ready to jump back into training. Especially if PFL makes it worth his while.

“Money talks,” Brunson said. He’s confident that PFL values him and would pay him accordingly. He’s ready to put together a tough training camp and get the job done.

If Brunson’s not available, Eblen has another potential opponent from the Bellator roster. Above all, he just wants to fight as soon as possible. That’s why February is the perfect time for him to return.

Eblen’s not worried about the future. He’s more concerned about how he’ll be used in his prime. He fears being sidelined and fighting only once a year against mediocre competition. He doesn’t want to waste his talent sitting on the sidelines.


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