MELBOURNE, Australia — As Derek Brunson puts in his last few weeks of training heading into his next trip inside the octagon, the Wilmington native recently learned his upcoming fight with Robert Whittaker has been promoted to the main event headlining UFC Fight Night 101 in Australia.
Catch these hands! ? pic.twitter.com/och5gYP3ua
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) October 9, 2016
The change was first reported by the Daily Telegraph and later confirmed by UFC officials due to an injury atop the fight card. The adjustment makes the Brunson versus Whittaker middleweight bout five rounds instead of the originally scheduled three-round fight.
Moving into the match up on Nov. 27 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, the two contenders are vying for a potential title shot following the Thanksgiving weekend clash.
Both fighters are riding high as winners of five straight, while Brunson sits one stop behind Whittaker at No. 8 in the UFC Middleweight rankings. His last outing saw the Hoggard High School alum and UNC-Pembroke All-American knock out Uriah Hall in the first-round. In fact, Brunson has four-consecutive first-round knockouts.
Whittaker, an Australian based fighter, will likely have the home crowd behind him come later this month. The Aussie is 4-0 since moving up to the 185-pound weight class in 2014, with victories over Rafael Natal, Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares.