Derek Brunson got his strength from cheerleading

Friday, December 28, 2012

Saturday night at UFC 155 Derek Brunson will fight Chris Leben. Leben’s bumpy road through the fighting life is well chronicled, but Brunson’s is in its way compelling as well.

Brunson route to MMA was through wrestling, and cheerleading.

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani, Brunson discussed his unusual background.

“I was like tossing girls in the air – that’s where I got my strength from, just controlling girls in the air. You get core strength, your chest gets all big. It makes you really strong, like you look on steroids, but you don’t have to take steroids because of cheerleading.”

“Cheerleading is definitely hard on your body. That’s why I decided to wrestle in college, not cheerlead.”

In his TUF audition video, Brunson shows extraordinary stength, tossing a standing cheerleader from hand to hand (2:30 mark).