The UFC 254 card is getting some more beef in the form of Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports UFC president Dana White has confirmed that Whittaker vs. Cannonier will happen on Oct. 24. This all but confirms the middleweight title showdown between champion Israel Adesanya and Paulo Costa. White says Adesanya vs. Costa isn’t a done deal yet, but it’s expected to take place the month prior to Whittaker vs. Cannonier.
“Breaking: Robert Whittaker (@robwhittakermma) vs. Jared Cannonier (@killagorillamma), UFC 254 on Oct. 24. Per UFC president Dana White (@danawhite). Gotta believe that will determine the next No. 1 contender. Prediction?”
Whittaker vs. Cannonier was supposed to take place at UFC 248 back in March. “The Reaper” withdrew from the bout due to personal reasons. Cannonier was set to remain on the card but he ended up suffering an injury.
Whittaker is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Darren Till in the main event of UFC on ESPN 14. Cannonier hasn’t competed since Sept. 2019 when he stopped Jack Hermansson via second-round TKO.
Taking a look at the rankings, the winner could very well find himself fighting for UFC gold next. Whittaker is the number one-ranked UFC middleweight. Cannonier sits at the number three spot.
Headlining UFC 254 will be a lightweight title unification bout. The 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov will face interim title holder Justin Gaethje. A location hasn’t been confirmed for UFC 254 but Dana White says it’s likely to take place in Abu Dhabi.