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Cage Warriors middleweight champion Christian Leroy Duncan signs with UFC, will debut at UFC 286

Another English championship-caliber mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter has signed with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Christian Leroy Duncan (7-0) was supposed to headline Cage Warriors 148 on Dec. 31, 2022, against former UFC fighter and two-time The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant, Jesse Taylor; however, Taylor was involved in a hit-and-run incident that sent him to the hospital, and unfortunately, the fight was canceled.

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

Ultimately the canceled fight was a massive disappointment for Duncan because it would have been the second defense of his Middleweight title against a UFC veteran. However, the disappointment quickly turned to excitement as less than 24 hours after the news of the fight cancelation, he got the news that he is now a UFC fighter.

The 27-year-old broke the news of his signing on the Cage Warriors 148 broadcast.

“At this time, I think we’ve made a decision. I’ll be handing this belt back to Cage Warriors, and next year, 2023, London, March, I’ll be looking to make my UFC debut in London,” Duncan said.

Duncan is a top prospect out of the United Kingdom and has a lot of hype behind him. He is the latest Cage Warriors champion to move to UFC. Duncan is undefeated, finishing six of his seven fights (five of them via knockout).

Check out his spinning elbow finish from Nov. 2022:

Duncan’s debut will come at UFC 286, which will take place on March 18, 2023, inside O2 Arena in London, England.

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 286 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN2/ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 286: “Edwards vs. Usman 3” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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