Monday, July 22, 2024

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

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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