During the UFC Fight Night 89 broadcast on Saturday night, it was announced that the middleweight contest between Gegard Mousasi and Derek Brunson which was scheduled for UFC 200 would air as part of the Fight Pass prelims on July 9th.
Just hours later however, Sherdog are reporting that sources close to Brunson have informed them that the American has been forced to withdraw from the fight. A reason for the withdrawal was not revealed.
Brunson, who currently sits eleventh in the promotion’s official middleweight rankings, has won four fights in a row since a January 2014 TKO defeat to Yoel Romero. Three of those four wins have come via first-round stoppage. In his most recent victory, back in February, Brunson snapped the six-fight winning run of Brazilian veteran Roan Carneiro with a vicious barrage of grounded punches.
Mousasi arrived in the UFC just over three years ago with a lot of hype behind him, and deservedly so. The Dutch fighter had won 19 of his previous 21 bouts, a run which included victories over the likes of Hector Lombard, Melvin Manhoef, Mark Hunt and Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza, capturing multiple titles along the way.
As rumored, Mousasi-Brunson will air on the UFC 200 fight pass prelims, it was just confirmed on the broadcast.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) 19 июня 2016 г.
His UFC career has thus far been characterised by swings in fortune however. Momentum gained by wins over Ilir Latifi, Mark Munoz and Dan Henderson was interrupted by losses to Lyoto Machida, the aforementioned Souza and, most recently, Uriah Hall.
In his last fight, Mousasi earned a unanimous decision win over Thales Leites at UFC Fight Night 84.
According to the report, Mousasi will remain on the card and UFC officials are expected to begin their search for a replacement opponent shortly.