Just In Off Guard: Derek Brunson on meeting Mike Tyson, his secret NFL team, and winning on Nintendo MMA Life

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For a fighter who has made his name from knocking people out, the chance to meet legendary knockout artist Mike Tyson was one that made Derek Brunson’s day.

The meeting came during the recent Dominance MMA media day, which was held at the Tyson Ranch this past week. And for Brunson, who spent his youth playing “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out” before going on to score real-world knockouts inside the octagon, it was a special moment.

“It was good,” he told MMA Junkie. “It’s funny because everybody knows who Mike Tyson is – even the kids know who Mike Tyson is. You go on YouTube, search the Internet, and you can find out a lot about him. I remember watching him all throughout my childhood, so it’s good to finally meet him.”

Brunson is looking to reposition himself as a top middleweight contender and says his knockout power remains as dangerous as ever. And, with his tongue firmly in his cheek, he even suggested his power was more dangerous than being caught in a natural disaster.

“You might survive a hurricane, but I don’t know if you can survive one of my onslaughts, man,” he said. “Especially if there’s no ref involved, man. You might be in trouble.”

Brunson has been relaxing between training sessions by catching up on NFL games while following the fortunes of the team he grew up with. But he admitted he had a soft spot for a certain gunslinging AFC team, too.

“I’m from (North) Carolina, so the Panthers are my team,” he said. “But I like to watch the (Kansas City) Chiefs play. They’re not my team – I can’t jump on the bandwagon – but I love watching them play. (Patrick) Mahomes, he’s a beast.”

And as for his video game prowess, Brunson said he was every bit as lethal on the buttons playing “Punch-Out” as a youngster as he is inside the cage today.

“I won the game, man,” he said. “You could spam the buttons on Nintendo, so I finished the game.”

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