Ex-champ Robert Whittaker meets Jared Cannonier in key bout

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What seems like an obvious title eliminator in the UFC middleweight division between Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier has been made for October.

Former champ Whittaker (21-5 MMA, 12-3 UFC) will take on Cannonier (13-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC) at UFC 254, which is scheduled for Oct. 24 and airs on pay-per-view. The card’s location has not been revealed.

MMA Junkie verified the matchup with a person close to the situation following an initial report from ESPN. The people request anonymity because UFC has yet to make an official announcement.

Whittaker is coming off a unanimous decision win over Darren Till at UFC on ESPN 14 last weekend. It was his first fight since losing the belt to Israel Adesanya, and Whittaker said he was looking to fight again this year. Now he’ll get his wish.

Cannonier, meanwhile, will return to action for the first time since beating Jack Hermansson by TKO at UFC on ESPN+ 18 in September. It was his third straight victory — all via TKO inside of six minutes — since he dropped down from light heavyweight. Cannonier was positioned for a big fight after that win, but pectoral surgery kept him out of action since.

With the addition, the latest UFC 254 lineup includes:

Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Justin Gaethje – for lightweight title
Jared Cannonier vs. Robert Whittaker





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