Multiple people with knowledge of the promotions plans confirmed the matchup to MMA Fighting after an initial report from ESPN.com. UFC 269 takes place Dec. 11 at a location to be announced. The bout order for the pay-per-view event has not been finalized.
O’Malley also confirmed the matchup via his Instagram on Saturday.
O’Malley returns after notching his second straight octagon win with a brutal stoppage of Kris Moutinho at UFC 264. The win earned him his fourth $50,000 performance bonus in five appearances. So far, his only octagon setback came at the hands of Marlon Vera at UFC 252 in a bout where he injured his ankle before being stopped with strikes.
O’Malley recently expressed a preference for facing unranked opposition, reasoning his pay didn’t increase with the risk taken by facing higher-ranked fighters. From a promotional standpoint, Paiva doesn’t quite qualify as the No. 15-ranked fighter in the UFC rankings (though the Brazilian is unranked in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings). But he’s been impressive as of late with a three-fight winning streak capped by an upset of prospect Kyler Phillips at UFC Vegas 32.
Multiple title fights are expected to headline UFC 269 including a targeted bout between lightweight champion Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier as well as Amanda Nunes putting her bantamweight title up for grabs against Julianna Pena.