A summer middleweight showdown looks to be heading to California.
The UFC is close to finalizing a fight between Derek Brunson and Ian Heinisch for UFC 241 multiple sources tell MyMMANews.com. The event will take place Aug. 17 at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The fight was originally targeted for the July 13 event in Sacramento, per sources.
After dropping back-to-back bouts to perennial contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Sousa and, now, interim middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, Brunson bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Elias Theodoreau earlier this month at UFC Ottawa. In 2015-2016, the 35-year-old was on the path to a middleweight title shot riding a five fight winning streak into his UFC Fight Night 101 headliner against Robert Whittaker before being finished in the opening round. Brunson would go on to take on Anderson Silva at UFC 208 in February 2017 losing a very controversial unanimous decision. The North Carolina native would bounce back to pick up wins over Daniel Kelly and Lyoto Machida to round out 2017.
Heinisch has made his presence felt since getting his opportunity to fight for the UFC. The former LFA champion got his shot on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series last July and made the most of it by finishing Justin Sumter in the opening round. “The Hurricane” made his Octagon debut against Cezar Ferreira in November 2018, picking up a hard fought unanimous decision win. The Factory X trained Heinisch took on Antonio Carlos Junior earlier this month at UFC Rochester and improved his record inside the Octagon to 2-0, picking up his fifth consecutive win overall in the process. After the win, Heinisch called for a fight with Brunson and it looks like he will get his wish.
UFC 241 will be headlined by a world heavyweight championship rematch as Daniel Cormier will defend the title against former champion Stipe Miocic.