Anderson Silva ended his losing streak at UFC 208
The legendary middleweight got back to winning ways in the early hours of the morning in the co-main event here in New York.
Silva, who was the longest reigning champion in UFC history, stopped his losing streak by beating Brunson via unanimous decision.
The 41-year-old Brazilian defeated Brunson, who went into the bout as no.8 ranked 185lb fighter on the planet, to record his first win since his UFC 153 victory over Stephan Bonnar.
But it almost didn't go his way as Brunson thought he had floored his opponent, only for the judges to disagree.
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Silva, the crowd favourite, started out the contest slowly – perhaps in an attempt to feel out his wild opponent.
Brunson seemed reluctant to rush in as he traditionally does and spent the early proceedings on the back foot.
He began to press forward midway through the round but ended up on the receiving end of several counter strikes.
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A wild flurry ensued late in the round that let to Brunson dropping Silva right before the buzzer.
Round two began in a similar fashion to the first and saw Silva press forward and cut off the Octagon.
Silva (right) lands a kick on Brunson
Brunson (right) had his chances to take Silva down
Silva (left) claimed victory in the Octagon
Just like the first period, Brunson was wary of charging in on Silva and stuck to his cautious approach.
Brunson managed to take the Curitiba native down midway through the round but was unable to keep him on them mat and inflict any damage.
The third and final round saw Silva immediately up his output and hunt down Brunson, who desperately tried to take the fight to the ground.
Silva defended the early takedown attempt but found himself pressed up against the cage with time rapidly running out.
He soon found a way off the cage and began trading heavy leather with Brunson, who looked as if he'd ran out of steam.
A desperate Brunson shot for a takedown late in the round and succeeded in putting Silva on his back, an act which many thought secured him the victory.
However, the judges didn't see it that way and handed the decision to Silva.