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Derek Brunson vs. Jared Cannonier booked for UFC 270

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

A new No. 1 contender at middleweight will likely be crowned in early 2022 as Derek Brunson is expected to clash with Jared Cannonier at UFC 270 on Jan. 22.

Multiple sources close to the situation confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Monday with agreements in place from both athletes. MMA Junkie initially reported the contest.

A perennial contender at 185 pounds, Brunson will look to secure a shot at the title when he returns in January while also seeking his sixth win in a row overall.

During his current run, Brunson has dispatched a number of ranked opponents including a submission victory over Darren Till in his most recent outing as well as a lopsided decision against Kevin Holland back in March.

Now Brunson will attempt to build on that momentum with his next fight booked in January while Cannonier will look to stop that streak and potentially secure his own shot at UFC gold.

With a 4-1 record at middleweight, Cannonier has been near the top of the division for several fights, especially after he dispatched Jack Hermansson by TKO back in 2019. While he suffered a setback to former champion Robert Whittaker last year, Cannonier quickly bounced back with a win over Kelvin Gastelum in August to put himself right back into title contention.

Brunson vs. Cannonier will take place at the UFC 270 card in January, which is also the targeted event for the middleweight title fight between Whittaker and reigning champion Israel Adesanya. No official offers have gone out for that fight, however, as Adesanya continues to deal with travel restrictions in his home country of New Zealand.