One fight is moving, another is newly announced, and both promise fireworks at UFC 276 in July.
Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira, originally scheduled for UFC 277 on July 30, is headed to UFC 276 instead. In addition, Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena is also set for the July 2, 2022 event.
MMA Junkie was first to report both developments on Tuesday. Cageside Press subsequently confirmed the bookings with a source familiar with the situation. Barberena also announced the bout on his verified Instagram account.
UFC 276 is expected to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, and is the crown jewel of the promotion’s International Fight Week.
Lawler (29-15, 1NC) got back in the win column last September, snapping a four-fight skid with a third round TKO (retirement) of Nick Diaz. Prior to that, Lawler had seen the losses pile up, losing bouts to Colby Covington, Neil Magny, Ben Askren, and Rafael dos Anjos.
Barberena (17-8) has won two straight, and just recently captured a Fight of the Night bonuses in a split decision win against another veteran, Matt Brown. “Bam Bam” is 3-1 in his last four fights; ex-champ Lawler will arguably be his highest-profile fight to date, though he did compete against both Colby Covington and Leon Edwards while they were on their rise up the 170 pound ranks.
As for the match-up shifting to the UFC 276 card, Strickland (25-3) has won six straight, and is knocking on the door of a title shot. Alex Pereira (5-1) has six fights in MMA, period. The kickboxing champ has been fast-tracked, however, and has won both of his UFC fights thus far. He also holds a pair of wins over middleweight champion Israel Adesanya from their kickboxing days.
The UFC 276 line-up currently consists of the following match-ups:
- Miesha Tate vs. Lauren Murphy
- Jessica Eye vs. Maycee Barber
- Brad Tavares vs. Dricus du Plessis
- Jessica-Rose Clark vs. Julija Stoliarenko
- Uriah Hall vs. André Muniz
- Robbie Lawler vs. Bryan Barberena
- Sean Strickland vs. Alex Pereira