Following the withdrawal of Luke Rockhold, UFC Fight Night in Melbourne, Australia now has a new main event. The fight between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson will now serve as the headliner for this event.
The UFC Fight Night in Melbourne, Australia gets a new headliner following the cancellation of the scheduled main event. Yesterday news broke that the former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold was forced to withdraw from his fight with Jacare Souza due to a knee injury. Instead of replacing Rockhold this close to the event, the UFC elected to move the co-main event between Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson to the top of the main card, as reported by The Daily Telegraph in Australia.
It was reported that Whittaker received news that he and Brunson will fill the main event slot via a phone call from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
Whittaker (17-4) is currently ranked seventh in the UFC middleweight rankings. He is coming off of a huge win over Rafael Natal at UFC 197 back in April. He is on a five-fight win streak and is looking to continue climbing the middleweight rankings. The middleweight division is one that is very talented, especially in the top ten. Any of the top ten guys could easily receive a title shot at any time. Whittaker is a very exciting fighter who has won performance bonuses in two of his last four outings.
Brunson (16-3) is also coming into this fight riding a five-fight win streak. He is ranked eighth in the UFC middleweight rankings. He has finished all of his last four fights with first-round TKO’s. Brunson is looking to continue that streak and put himself in a position where he can fight a top five guy and get in line for a title shot himself.