Top middleweight contenders Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier are no longer competing at the UFC 270 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Jan. 22 in Anaheim. Instead, the promotion has rebooked them for the UFC 271 lineup on Feb. 12, where they’ll co-headline the Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker 2-led fight card in Houston.
That’s according to ESPN.
Brunson (23-7), ranked one spot below Cannonier at No. 4, has not tasted defeat since falling to Adesanya at UFC 230 back in Nov. 2018. In the time since they last fought, Brunson has captured five straight wins, while “The Last Stylebender” went on to beat Whittaker for the middleweight title.
As for Cannonier (14-5), who like his fight night opponent is 37 years old, he’s won four of his last five with his only blemish during that span coming at the hands of Whittaker. “The Killa Gorilla” has already been named by Adesanya as the most dangerous fighter in the 185-pound division, a fact not lost on Brunson.
The new date and location are not just coincidence. The winner of Adesanya vs. Whittaker 2 is expected to defend the middleweight title against the winner of Brunson vs. Cannonier, though a rubber match may take precedence if “The Reaper” is able to recapture the 185-pound crown.
For the rest of the UFC 271 fight card and PPV lineup click here.