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Derek Brunson vs. Jared Cannonier shifts from UFC 270 to UFC 271

UFC Fight Night: Brunson v Holland Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

A key middleweight fight between Derek Brunson and Jared Cannonier is shifting from UFC 270 in January to UFC 271 in February.

Sources close to the situation confirmed the news on Wednesday after Brunson first hinted at the fight moving to a different date on Twitter. ESPN initially confirmed the move to UFC 271.

There’s been no confirmation why the fight is shifting from Jan. 22 to Feb. 12 but now Brunson vs. Cannonier will occupy a spot on the same card where the middleweight title is being defended in the main event. It’s likely that Brunson vs. Cannonier will serve as the co-main event.

Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker are scheduled to clash in a rematch at UFC 271 and now it appears a potential No. 1 contender will be determined with the fight between Brunson and Cannonier.

Currently riding a five-fight win streak including a submission victory over Darren Till in his last outing, Brunson has been making a serious push into title contention with his recent run. Brunson’s last loss actually came to Adesanya back in 2018 and he’s also fallen to Whittaker in the past as well so he certainly has plenty of motivation to call for the winner of that fight if he gets through Cannonier.

Meanwhile, Cannonier will look to build on a 4-1 resume at middleweight including his last win — a unanimous decision victory over former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Cannonier’s only loss at 185 pounds came against Whittaker in 2020 but beating Brunson might just put him into position to compete for a title later in the year.

UFC 271 will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas with 11 additional fights already confirmed for the card.