Derek Brunson is out of his fight with Jack Hermansson at UFC Orlando on December 3, 2022, but a replacement has already been secured.
Stepping up in place of Hermansson is Georgian middleweight Roman Dolidze (11-1), who will take on Hermansson (23-7) in a main card contest. UFC Orlando is expected to be headlined by welterweights Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Kevin Holland.
ESPN was first to report news of Dolidze swapping places with Brunson. The nature of Brunson’s injury has not been disclosed.
Hermansson has been trading wins and losses of late, and most recently had his hand raised in a fight with Chris Curtis at July’s UFC London card. Prior to that, the Swede had dropped a split decision against Sean Strickland.
Currently ranked #8 in the UFC’s middleweight rankings, Hermansson will look to turn back the surging Dolidze, who is unranked, but could crack the top 15 with a victory next month.
Dolidze has won three straight, earning Performance of the Night bonuses in his last two outings. Those came care of knockouts against Kyle Daukaus and Phil Hawes. The 34-year old Georgian, who fights out of Odessa, Ukraine, started his career as a light heavyweight, but despite finding success in and out of the UFC at 205lbs, moved down to 185 in 2021, where he has gone 3-1 since.
UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on December 3, 2023, with the event airing on ESPN. The following bouts have been reported for the Fight Night card so far:
- Stephen Thompson vs. Kevin Holland
- Bryan Barberena vs. Rafael dos Anjos
- Matheus Nicolau vs. Matt Schnell
- Tai Tuivasa vs. Sergei Pavlovich
- Eryk Anders vs. Kyle Daukaus
- Niko Price vs. Philip Rowe
- Angela Hill vs. Emily Ducote
- Clay Guida vs. Scott Holtzman
- Michael Johnson vs. Marc Diakiese
- Darren Elkins vs. Jonathan Pearce
- Tracy Cortez vs. Amanda Ribas
- Natan Levy vs. Genaro Valdez
- Marcelo Rojo vs. Francis Marshall
- Yazmin Jauregui vs. Istela Nunes
- Jack Hermansson vs. Roman Dolidze