A troubling eye issue has forced Derek Brunson out of his UFC 200 fight with Gegard Mousasi, but the promotion have already moved to secure a replacement for him, with Thiago Santos stepping up to the plate.
“Not fighting at UFC 200,” Brunson had revealed on Facebook. “I had lasik (PRK) 4 years ago. Initially I thought I needed a touch up but after getting my eyes checked twice that wasn’t the case. I don’t recall getting hit in the eye during training. But my vision has been blurry and double vision for almost 2 weeks. Sucks I’ve been training about 4 months for the fight and I won’t be able to compete . But I always try to find the positive in things. Still 6-1 in the UFC, 4 wins in a row. Ranked #11 in ufc rankings and top 10 in Sherdog and MMAjunkie MW rankings. Hopefully the vision will clear up soon & I can get booked soon with Mousasi, Whitaker, Vitor, Santos or Henderson.”
So, with just under three weeks until fight night, Brazil’s Santos now steps in as a late replacement for the historic show, with the 32 year-old currently enjoying a four-fight winning streak in the promotion.
‘Marreta’ has been facing increasingly stiff competition as his run has continued, initially defeating Andy Enz and Steve Bosse, before progressing to Elias Thepdorou, and then most recently Nate Marquardt who he KO’d in the first round at UFC 198 last month.
Now the 15th ranked middleweight goes up against Mousasi, who’s currently placed at No.8 in the division.
A former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion, Mousasi has won three of his past four fights, including victories over Dan Henderson and Costas Philippou last year, before Uriah Hall TKO’d him with a flying knee. He’s since rebounded in 2016 with a decision win against Thales Leites.
Mousasi Vs Santos is expected to take place on the UFC 200 Fight Pass prelim portion on what’s right up there with the most stacked events ever seen in the octagon, headlined by a light-heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, with Brock Lesnar returning in the co-main event against Mark Hunt.