After outlasting Darren Till for a unanimous decision win last weekend at UFC on ESPN 14 former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has already locked down his next fight against Jared Cannonier at UFC 254 on Oct. 24, per a recent report by ESPN.
UFC has yet to officially label the middleweight clash a No. 1 contender’s bout, but that’s likely the case given Whittaker and Cannonier’s divisional standing.
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? pic.twitter.com/vS10FcEoie— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) August 1, 2020
Whittaker (21-5) returned to the win column with a main event victory over Darren Till at UFC on ESPN 14 last July. Before that, “The Reaper” lost his middleweight strap to current champion Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in Oct. 2019. It marked the first loss for Whittaker since moving up to 185 pounds roughly six years ago.
Cannonier, 36, has looked unstoppable since making his middleweight debut just two years ago. The former heavyweight and light heavyweight contender has racked off three-straight wins at 185 pounds over the likes of Jack Hermansson, Anderson Silva, and David Branch, finishing each contender via TKO. “Killa Gorilla” may not be the household name that Whittaker or Till is, but he remains one of the most dangerous players in the middleweight division. One who could finish Whittaker with one punch and secure his shot at a UFC title in 2021.
UFC 254 is expected to be headlined by a lightweight title fight pitting current champion Khabib Nurmagomedov against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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