The middleweight tilt between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson has now been bumped into the main even slot at UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne, Australia, writes Jason Sutcliffe.
The card was originally to be headlined by the Luke Rockhold and Ronaldo Souza rematch, but when Rockhold went down with a knee injury the card was left with an empty main event slot. Rather than of finding Souza another opponent the decision was made to bump Whittaker and Brunson into the slot.
Whittaker told The Daily Telegraph that he was still sleeping when he took the call from Joe Silva.
“I actually was in bed when Joe Silva phoned to say I’d been given the main event,” Whittaker said. When asked about his response, he laughed, “I said ‘ah, OK.”
BREAKING: @RJWhittaker1990 steps up to the #UFCMelbourne main event!! Details ➡️ https://t.co/VUYDmNXMzI pic.twitter.com/G6m5JmqNmY
— UFC Aus/New Zealand (@UFC_AUSNZ) November 2, 2016
Both fighters are currently riding impressive winning streaks. Whittaker is 4-0 since making the move up to middleweight and Brunson’s on a five fight winning streak with four first round finishes by KO or TKO, his latest an impressive first round TKO over Urijah Hall. For both Whittaker and Brunson who are currently sitting at 7 and 8 in the middleweight rankings respectively, an Impressive win would catapult them into the log jam at the top of the division and likely a win away from a title shot.
UFC Fight Night 101, in Melbourne, Australia is set to take place on Nov. 27 at the Rod Laver Arena.