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Josh Emmett returns to face Dan Ige at UFC 269

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Josh Emmett will return before the end of the year just as he had hoped.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that Emmett will face Dan Ige at UFC 269 in his first fight since June 2020. The event takes place Dec. 11 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and will serve as the UFC’s final PPV event of 2021. BJPENN.com was first to report the booking.

Per sources, the UFC had initially planned on Emmett facing Arnold Allen, however, Allen is recovering from a hand injury.

Emmett has won three straight and five of six, and is set to make the walk to the octagon for the first time since defeating Shane Burgos at UFC Vegas 3 in one of the most entertaining fights of 2020. In the victory, Emmett suffered a litany of injuries: a complete ACL tear; an MCL sprain with partial tearing; a Baker’s cyst rupture; a focal impact fracture of the femur; and a cartilage defect on his tibia. The Team Alpha Male standout was hoping to return in the summer but told MMA Fighting in March he suffered complications with his recovery after his patella injury hadn’t healed and developed a fracture in his patella bone. The No. 9 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings also picked up stoppage wins over Michael Johnson and Mirsad Bektic during his current win streak

Ige will look to get back on track after dropping a unanimous decision to Chan Sung Jung in the main event of June’s UFC Vegas 29 event. The No. 10 ranked fighter in MMA Fighting’s Global Rankings compiled a six-fight win streak — that included a split-decision win over Edson Barboza — heading into his first main event at UFC on ESPN 13 in July 2020 and dropped a unanimous decision to Calvin Kattar. Ige bounced back with a 22 second KO win over Gavin Tucker at UFC Vegas 21 in March.

UFC 269 will be headlined by a lightweight title fight between Charles Oliveira and Dustin Poirier. In addition, the women’s bantamweight title will be on the line as Amanda Nunes defends against Julianna Pena, while Leon Edwards and Jorge Masvidal will settle their score in a three-round welterweight bout.