UFC 200 is just 20 days away, and all things considered, the only fight we'd lost from this event was Nate Diaz vs. Conor McGregor 2, and we'll only have to wait until August for them to lock horns again. Unfortunately, that run has come to an end, as a key middleweight bout is off the mega pay-per-view event. Sherdog reports that Derek Brunson has withdrawn from his Fight Pass preliminary card matchup against Gegard Mousasi, who later confirmed the news himself. Reasons for Brunson's withdrawal were not disclosed.
Brunson (15-3) has performed incredibly since a dramatic 3rd round TKO loss to Yoel Romero in January 2014. The North Carolina native has won his last 4 bouts, including a trio of consecutive knockouts against Ed Herman, Sam Alvey, and most recently Roan Carneiro. His impressive run of form has him on the cusp of the UFC's top 10, as he currently sits at #11.
Mousasi (38-6-2) bounced back from a shocking knockout loss to Uriah Hall -- the first knockout loss of his entire MMA career -- by dominating former UFC title challenger Thales Leites at UFC London in February. The former Strikeforce LHW champion has struggled with consistency throughout his UFC tenure, but nonetheless has the #8 spot in the promotion's middleweight rankings.
With Brunson out of the biggest fight of his career, Thiago Santos (13-3), who has won his last 4 fights, is interested in facing Mousasi on short notice.
I am available to the @ufc_brasil @ufc to fight the # UFC200— Thiago Marreta (@TMarretaMMA) June 19, 2016
UFC 200 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, July 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones headline the event in a light heavyweight championship unification match. Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar will return to the Octagon to fight Mark Hunt in the evening's co-main.