With Derek Brunson out of his fight with Roman Dolidze and released by the UFC, the Georgian fighter has been in search of a new opponent.
He now has one. Dolidze (12-2) will face top middleweight contender Jared Cannonier (17-6) on December 2, 2023 at a UFC Fight Night event that does not yet have a location officially announced.
Cageside Press confirmed the booking with a source familiar with the situation, following an initial report by ESPN.
Cannonier currently sits ranked #4 in the promotion’s official rankings, while Dolidze occupies the #7 spot. “The Killa Gorilla” recently told Cageside Press that while he was hoping to book a title shot or number one contender’s match, he wasn’t against fighting someone lower down in the rankings. “I don’t mind fighting somebody lower in the rankings for the same amount I would get for fighting a contender,” Cannonier told us earlier this month.
The 39-year old lost a unanimous decision against Israel Adesanya last year in his first shot at UFC gold, but has bounced back with two wins — over Sean Strickland and Marvin Vettori. Strickland happens to be the man currently holding gold, after dethroning Adesanya in a shocker just weeks ago.
Dolidze saw a four-fight win streak snapped when he ran into Italy’s Vettori back in March.
The UFC’s December 2, 2023 Fight Night card currently consists of the following reported bouts:
- Jamey-Lyn Horth vs. Veronica Hardy
- Miesha Tate vs. Julia Avila
- Punahele Soriano vs. Dustin Stoltzfus
- Rob Font vs. Deiveson Figueiredo
- Khalil Rountree Jr. vs. Azamat Murzakanov
- Jared Cannonier vs. Roman Dolidze
- Sean Brady vs. Kelvin Gastelum