Yoel Romero Palacio will lock horns with Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 35. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Two new bouts have been added to the developing UFC Fight Night 35 bill, including a middleweight showdown between Yoel Romero Palacio and Derek Brunson.
UFC officials announced the 185-pound pairing on Tuesday, also revealing that “TUF 15” veteran Vinc Pichel will do battle with Garett Whiteley in a lightweight duel.
Headlined by a middleweight showdown between former Strikeforce champion Luke Rockhold and Costas Philippou, UFC Fight Night 35 takes place Jan. 15 from The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga.
Romero, 36, has been perfect since cutting to 185 pounds ahead of his UFC debut, dispatching Clifford Starks with a flying knee this past April before stopping Ronny Markes with punches earlier this month at UFC Fight Night 31.
In Brunson, Romero faces a twice-beaten prospect riding back-to-back Octagon wins. The 29-year-old made his UFC debut 11 months ago with a unanimous decision win over Chris Leben and followed that performance with a 48-second submission of Brian Houston on Nov. 6.
Pichel began his career with seven consecutive victories before joining the cast of “The Ultimate Fighter 15” and coming up short in the semifinals against Al Iaquinta. The 31-year-old made his official Octagon debut in December of last year, when he was suplexed and punched into unconsciousness by Rustam Khabilov.
Like his foe, Whiteley also suffered his first career defeat in his inaugural Octagon outing, sustaining a first-round knockout at the hands of Alan Patrick Silva Alves last month at UFC Fight Night 29.