A quick turnaround for Derek Brunson, Wilmington native heading to Australia for next UFC bout

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Coming off his fifth straight win and fourth consecutive victory by first round knockout, Wilmington native Derek Brunson will have a quick turnaround as he’s scheduled to get back in the octagon against New Zealand-born Robert Whittaker as part of UFC Fight Night 101 on Nov. 26 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The event will air on Fox Sports 1.

It’ll be a hostile environment for Brunson, 32, who heads down under for the match-up between a pair looking to move up the UFC middleweight ranks. Whittaker is an Australian based fighter, who will likely have the home crowd behind him come Nov. 26. He’s made a statement since moving up to the 185-pound weight class after beginning his UFC career as a welterweight.

Brunson, currently ranked at No. 7 among UFC middleweight contenders, improved to 16-3 in MMA fights following his most recent victory over Uriah Hall during the co-main event as part UFC Fight Night 94 in Hidalgo, Texas on Sept. 17.

Whittaker, 25, is 17-4 overall in MMA. Currently ranked No. 7 among middleweights, Whittaker also takes a five fight win streak into the match. He’s 2-0 since making the jump to 185-pounds, but Whittaker has not fought since April 23 when he won a unanimous decision against Rafael Natal during UFC 197 in Las Vegas.

Both fighters are extremely active on social media and trash talking has already ensued with Whittaker boasting a first-round knockout for Brunson come late November. The outgoing Brunson has been quick to respond. Brunson’s five-fight UFC winning streak is the second longest active streak in the middleweight division. He’s now 7-1 in his past eight fights.


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