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Whittaker-Brunson promoted to UFC Melbourne main event

With Luke Rockhold vs. Jacare Souza scrapped from UFC Melbourne, the UFC has bumped Robert Whittaker vs. Derek Brunson from co-main to main event.

MMA: UFC 197-Whittaker vs Natal Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

With news that Luke Rockhold is injured and out of the UFC Fight Night 101 main event vs. Jacare Souza, it didn’t take long for the UFC to announce the new headliner. Jacare has been removed from the card altogether, and the co-main event between fellow middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson has been promoted to main event. The new main event for the UFC’s return to Melbourne was announced on Wednesday.

Whittaker (16-4) has won five straight, and is undefeated in his four fights at 185 lbs. The 25-year-old scored a decision victory against Rafael Natal at UFC 197, which is his most recent fight. Whittaker’s two finishes at 185 were knockouts against Clint Hester and Brad Tavares. His other middleweight triumph came by unanimous decision vs. Uriah Hall.

Brunson (16-3) finished Uriah Hall by 1st round TKO in September at UFC Hidalgo. The former Strikeforce fighter has won five straight, and none of his last four fights has lasted longer than 2:38. The only opponent the 31-year-old hasn’t finished during his winning streak is Lorenz Larkin, now a contender at welterweight. As for Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, and Roan Carneiro, they were all quickly knocked out by Brunson.

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Brunson will air live from Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia. The night’s main card airs live on Fox Sports 1 at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT on Saturday, November 26th, which is Sunday, November 27th in Melbourne.

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