Cannonier (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) and Strickland (25-4 MMA, 12-4 UFC) have verbally agreed to a five round headliner at UFC Fight Night on Oct. 15, which does not have an announced location or venue but is likely to take place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
MMA Junkie verified the UFC’s plans for the bout with multiple people close to the situation, who wished to remain anonymous because the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. Ariel Helwani was first to report the news, and noted contracts have yet to be signed.
Cannonier, No. 4 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMA Junkie middleweight rankings, will try to rebound from his title-fight loss to Israel Adesanya at UFC 276 in July. There were minimal significant moments in the fight for “The Killa Gorilla,” but a potential win would put him back in a prominent position in the division.
No. 7-ranked Strickland, meanwhile, had his chances for a title shot vanquished at UFC 276, too, when he was knocked out in the first round by striking standout Alex Pereira. He’d won six straight prior to that fight, and can start a new winning streak with a triumphant effort over Cannonier.
The latest UFC Fight Night lineup for Oct. 15 includes:
Jared Cannonier vs. Sean Strickland
Viviane Araujo vs. Alexa Grasso