The first announced bout of UFC Fight Night 82 is a battle of ranked middleweights as thirteenth-ranked Derek Brunson will take on fifteenth-ranked Roan Carneiro.
Derek Brunson announced the matchup on his Facebook page.
Brunson has had a successful UFC career since coming over from Strikeforce in 2012. The North Carolina native has accumulated a 5-1 record, with the lone loss coming in a “Fight of the Night” effort against currently third-ranked Yoel Romero. In that fight, Brunson was able to control the explosive Romero and win the first two rounds prior to Romero finishing him in the third.
Brunson is currently on fire, winning three-straight fights with the last two coming via first-round knockouts. The All-American wrestler has notable victories over Sam Alvey, Chris Leben, and Lorenz Larkin.
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His opponent will be Roan Carneiro, who is in the middle of his second UFC stint. The jiu-jitsu expert racked up a 2-3 record prior to the UFC releasing him from his contract in 2008.
After winning seven of his next eight fights in smaller promotions, the UFC gave the Brazilian a second chance. Carneiro decided to move to the middleweight division for his UFC career, after fighting at welterweight in between his two UFC runs.
Carneiro returned in very impressive fashion, submitting now-retired Mark Munoz in the first round with a rear-naked choke at UFC 184. Carneiro was scheduled to take on eighth-ranked Gegard Mousasi at UFC Fight Night 75; however, he was forced out of the matchup with an elbow injury and has been out of action since.
This is a very interesting matchup between wrestler and grappler, although Brunson has shown great power in his striking recently. Brunson should be wary of taking down the third-degree black belt he will be facing. Expect Brunson to go into the fight with a similar strategy as he did in his last victory against Sam Alvey, which is to throw punches until Carneiro falls.
Brunson vs. Carneiro is the only fight announced for UFC Fight Night 82 at the moment. The event will take place on February 21 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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