Ian Heinisch now has a number next to his name.

Clinching the #11 spot in UFC’s middleweight rankings, Heinisch looks to land another ranked opponent after defeating Antonio Carlos Jr. at UFC Rochester via unanimous decision.

Heinisch vs Brunson has been in headlines since Ian called out the #9 ranked fighter after his win. Having only faced Brazilian jiu-jitsu experts in the UFC, “The Hurricane” is ready to showcase his striking game against anyone willing to stand with him. Who better than Derek Brunson?

On the hunt for a top-10 opponent.

Whether Brunson, Jack Hermansson, or any top-10 middleweight, Heinisch wants to be in the top-5 by the end of 2019. “If they keep pairing me with Brazilian jiu-jitsu guys, then give me Jacare Souza,” said Heinisch. He’s hoping to stay active and make up for loss time after the Tom Breese fight at UFC London fell through.

“I’d like to get on the Anaheim card or return anytime after August.”

Brunson is coming off a unanimous decision win against Elias Theodorou at UFC Ottawa after previously being on a two-fight losing streak. If Heinisch and Brunson fought, it would be a classic wrestler vs wrestler matchup that could be placed anywhere on a main card.

If you ask Heinisch, “it’s a fight the fans would want to see.”

Ian’s life is truly something out of a movie.

Heinisch’s life would have played out different if he was incarnated in a U.S. prison the entire time.

Ian has been very open about his story. So much that it is in the process of being made into a Hollywood movie. Even through recent success, Heinisch remains humble as ever. “I am passionate about bringing awareness,” said Heinisch when asked about the corruption in the U.S. prison system. After getting his second chance at life in Spain and the Canary Islands, where inmates are able to better themselves so they don’t come back, the UFC middleweight has talked about opening a halfway house. Kids under a specific age who get limited prison sentences could go to rehabilitate, ultimately helping them find their purpose in life.

“It’s important that I get this story out and hopefully motivate people and kind of give back,” Ian told MMA Fighting. “Bring it full circle, for all the people that helped me and to right all the wrongs in my life. To be that inspiration, that you can be at rock bottom and bounce back to fulfill their dreams.”

Not defined by his past, there were many moments in prison that helped Heinisch find his purpose and faith. Training and working towards bettering his life were some reasons that motivated Ian to get back on track.

Everything has come full circle.

After returning to Colorado, Heinisch was excited to be home with his new mindset and outlook on life. Coach Marc Montoya took him in at Factory X, so although he was coming back to a place with much history, he wasn’t living the same life.

Heinisch has had many full circle moments since pursuing his dreams of capturing UFC gold. His story will continue to be heard, but for Ian, it feels good to reminisce on his long path toward greatness to remember how far he has come. It has been a quick rise to the top for “The Hurricane,” one that could see him as middleweight champion by early 2020.

The 170-pound division has another new star prospect.

His name is Ian Heinisch.

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