Wilmington native Derek Brunson returns to the octagon this weekend as part of UFC Fight Night 83 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Coming off three straight wins and a pair of knockouts, the 32-year old Brunson is currently ranked No. 13 in UFC’s middleweight division heading into Sunday’s bout against Roan Carneiro.
The All-American wrestler from UNC-Pembroke has spent the last six months training in Albuquerque, New Mexico, home to some of the top MMA and UFC fighters.
Known for his grappling ability, Brunson has achieved a 5-1 UFC mark and 14-3 MMA record. He’s shown improved striking ability over his last few fights, while working with Wilmington boxing legend Andre Thompson during his training sessions in the Port City.
Carneiro has won six straight fights heading into Sunday’s match. The native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is 37, with a 20-9 overall record. He’s currently ranked No. 15 in the UFC middleweight division.
The card airs on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 9 p.m. on Feb. 21. The event features a modern-era record 14 fights.