The first UFC PPV event of 2022 has its first fight booked, and it’s a big one.
Despite being quite a ways away, the UFC has already started booking fights for its first PPV of 2022. UFC 270 is currently being penciled in for January 22, at a still-to-be-announced location, and according to MMAJunkie’s John Morgan, the card has its first bout booked. That’s as a three-round middleweight title eliminator bout is being scheduled for the card between top contenders Derek Brunson (23-7) and Jared Cannonier (14-5).
Cageside Press confirmed the booking Monday with a source familiar with the situation on Monday.
The bout comes off of the heels of both men scoring recent wins. On Brunson’s end of things, he heads into the eliminator bout off the heels of five straight wins, in which Brunsn was the underdog in each and every one. The biggest victory of which came earlier this month when Brunson dominated former title challenger Darren Till en route to a third-round submission victory.
Cannonier on the other hand is coming off a hard-fought decision win over Kelvin Gastelum in August. The win helped get Cannonier back on the right track after a decision loss to Robert Whittaker at UFC 254. Prior to that fight Cannonier was riding high after three straight knockout wins, highlighted by his upset win over Anderson Silva at UFC 237. The shock knockout streak came after Cannonier dropped down to middleweight following a middling stint at light heavyweight and heavyweight.
Middleweight is in a bit of a weird place at the moment, as Dana White and the UFC have indicated that they will book a rematch between champion Israel Adesanya and former champion Robert Whittaker next for the strap. However, the bout is in a bit of a limbo at the moment due to COVID-19 related travel issues. And with the announcement that Adesanya’s team City Kickboxing could be moving to the United States, the bout may take even longer to officially get on the books.