After losing his title earlier this year, Robert Whittaker will return against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248.
Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has his return date set. UFC officials announced via social media on Friday that Whittaker will face Jared Cannonier at UFC 248 this March in Las Vegas. The announcement follows an early report by The Saturday Telegraph.
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Whittaker (20-5), who entered the UFC by winning The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes in 2012 at welterweight, went on a tear after moving to the middleweight division two years later. Wins over Brad Tavares, Uriah Hall, Derek Brunson, and Jacare Souza led to a title opportunity against Yoel Romero in 2017, which saw Whittaker claim the interim belt via a unanimous decision.
When all-time great Georges St. Pierre returned to action later that same year and made short work of Michael Bisping, only to vacate the title shortly thereafter, Whittaker was promoted to undisputed champion. A rematch with Romero would eventually take place, although the Cuban fighter missed weight for the bout. Whittaker won the grueling battle at UFC 225 regardless, but became the latest victim of Israel Adesanya in October at UFC 243, winding up knocked out in the second round.
Jared Cannonier (13-4), who started his UFC run at heavyweight, has found considerable success after making his way down to middleweight (stopping at 205lbs along the way). The 35-year old has won all three of his bouts in the 185lb division, picking up wins over David Branch, Anderson Silva, and Jack Hermansson.
UFC 248 takes place March 7, 2020 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Weili Zhang and Neil Magny vs. Li Jingliang are also expected to feature on the card.