A potential UFC middleweight title-eliminator between top-five contenders, Jared Cannonier and Derek Brunson is reportedly on deck for UFC 270 on January 22. — with a location or venue for the pay-per-view showcase yet to be determined by the promotion.
Both hoping to score their first shot at UFC middleweight gold with a victory, Texas native, Cannonier last featured in the main event of UFC Vegas 34 in August, taking an impressive unanimous decision win over one-time interim middleweight title chaser, Kelvin Gastelum.
Headlining for his third consecutive outing at UFC Vegas 36 at the beginning of this month, North Carolina veteran, Brunson turned in an impressive third round rear-naked choke victory over former welterweight title challenger, Darren Till — notching his fifth straight success. MMA Junkie reporter, John Morgan was first to report the pairing of Cannonier and Brunson.
Rebounding to the winner’s enclosure against Gastelum back in August, Cannonier suffered a unanimous decision loss to former champion and likely incoming challenger, Robert Whittaker in the co-main event of UFC 254 on ‘Fight Island’ last October — suffering a broken forearm after blocking the first attempted kick from the former titleholder.
Improving to 4-1 at middleweight with his victory over Gastelum, Cannonier added the Kings MMA staple to a divisional record which includes a trio of impressive stoppages over former two-weight WSOF champion, David Branch, former UFC middleweight kingpin, Anderson Silva, as well as former Cage Warriors welterweight titleholder, Jack Hermansson.
30-fight veteran, Brunson spoke of his ambitions to score a title rematch against either past-foes, Israel Adesanya or the aforenoted, Whittaker off the back of his win over Till earlier this month, as well as nothing his interest in remaining active against Cannonier in a guaranteed title-eliminator.
The 37-year-old Wilmington native added Liverpool favorite, Till to a winning spree which includes prior successes against upcoming feature, Kevin Holland, Dana White’s Contender Series alum, Edmen Shahbazyan, Ian Heinisch, as well as promotional alum, Elias Theodorou.