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UFC releases Derek Brunson

Jeff Bottari / UFC / Getty

Middleweight fighter Derek Brunson has been released, UFC officials confirmed to Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.

Brunson's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN's Marc Raimondi the departure was a mutual agreement to part ways. He added that the veteran combatant will explore opportunities to compete at light heavyweight in other promotions.

Brunson was scheduled to fight Roman Dolidze at UFC 295 on Nov. 11 prior to his release. The 39-year-old was the No. 8 fighter in the UFC middleweight rankings.

"Derek Brunson has been under the UFC umbrella for 11 years," Abdelaziz said in a statement obtained by Martin. "He had an amazing career there. The last seven years he's been in the top 10 (of the) rankings. The UFC was amazing to him there, helped shape who he is today, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity he was given. He has to move on, and looking forward to what comes next for him."

Brunson lost his last two UFC fights at the hands of Dricus du Plessis and Jared Cannonier. Before the two-fight slump, Brunson was riding a five-fight winning streak that spanned from May 2019 to September 2021.

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