Derek Brunson’s happy new year

A sad day for Sherdog.net users as the man known as VEMOLA has pulled out of his UFC 155 fight with Chris Leben. A good day for former Strikeforce fighter Derek Brunson, tho. Brunson had been accepted to compete on this latest season of the Ultimate Fighter until Showtime decided he was too valuable of an asset to spare from the Strikeforce roster. It was a total dick move and just another example of how fighters and their families were becoming collateral damage in the tug of war between Zuffa and Showtime. Brunson, a father of two, was pretty devastated by the whole thing:

“It’s a nightmare,” Brunson said “Throughout the day I’m like, man, that was the worst-case scenario that actually happened.

“This has not been my year,” he said. “What can happen? Nothing, nothing good at this point can happen. I’m thinking all the things that could go possibly wrong are going on at this point.”

Then one of Santa’s elves heard Derek’s despair (hint: it was Joe Silva) and made a Christmas miracle occur! Brunson would step up to replace Karlos Vemola against Chris Leben, making him the first Strikeforce fighter to cross over and step into the cage since news of the organization’s demise surfaced. Fighting on the main card of the UFC’s big NYE event against an opponent like Chris Leben seems like a pretty good consolation prize, especially considering the fate suffered by the majority of this season’s TUF contestants.

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