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Ronnie Lawrence vs. Mana Martinez in the works for UFC 271

UFC Fight Night: Cachero v Lawrence
Ronnie Lawrence
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

An exciting bantamweight bout is being targeted for the UFC’s February pay-per-view event.

Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that a matchup between Ronnie Lawrence and Mana Martinez is in the works for UFC 271. The event takes place Feb. 12 at a location and venue yet to be announced. Verbal agreements are in place for the fight with contracts expected to be signed soon.

Lawrence returns to the octagon for the first time following an impressive debut in February where he stopped Vince Cachero in the third round at UFC Vegas 20. “The Heat” was scheduled to return in July against Trevin Jones, but the bout was scrapped following the UFC Vegas 33 weigh-ins after Lawrence had severe cramping on his way to the scale and was hospitalized for precautionary reasons. Lawrence earned his contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September 2020 with a win over Jose Johnson.

Martinez also earned a UFC opportunity with a win over Johnson at Fury FC 46 as part of Dana White’s Lookin’ For a Fight, stopping his opponent in just 32 seconds. In his promotional debut, Martinez earned a hard-fought split decision win over Guido Cannetti at UFC Vegas 35 in August.

UFC 271 is expected to be headlined by a middleweight title fight between champion Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker.