There are rumblings in the middleweight division with plans for Paulo Costa vs. Jared Cannonier and Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till, plus many more fights — this is your fight announcement roundup.
Paulo Costa vs. Jared Cannonier to headline UFC Fight Night
Top-ranked middleweights Paulo Costa and Jared Cannonier will bring their heavy hands to a UFC Fight Night card on August 21.
Costa (13-1) and Cannonier (13-5) look to bounce back from losses to Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, respectively. ESPN's Brett Okamoto was the first to report Costa (no. 2) vs. Cannonier (no. 4).
UFC finalizing Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till
Derek Brunson and Darren Till will answer important questions if their planned main event follows through.
ESPN's Okamoto reports that UFC is finalizing Brunson (no. 5) vs. Till (no. 6) for the main event of its August 14 Fight Night, pending medical clearance. A win for either fighter puts them in good standings for a number one contender's fight. For Brunson, it's a chance to prove his striking defence is up to snuff against the elite; meanwhile, Till has yet to make a meaningful impact at 185.
Islam Makhachev returns to the Octagon
Islam Makhachev (no. 10) is expected to return to the UFC cage, but not against ranked competition.
ESPN reports that a three-round lightweight fight between Makhachev and Thiago Moises is expected to take place at the UFC Fight Night event on July 17.
Islam Makhachev is set to return to the Octagon on July 17, multiple sources tell @bokamotoESPN.— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) May 13, 2021
UFC is close to finalizing a three-round lightweight bout between Makhachev and Thiago Moises. pic.twitter.com/7JpvAgL3ZO
Paul Daley vs. Jason Jackson set for Bellator 260
Ranked welterweights Jason Jackson and Paul Daley are expected to put on a striker's delight in the co-main event of Bellator 260.
The promotion announced the fight, which will take place at a catchweight of 175-pounds. The card is scheduled for June 11 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut and will air on Showtime. It is headlined by a welterweight title fight pitting Douglas Lima vs. Yaroslav Amosov.
Thiago Santos vs. Johnny Walker set for September
Ranked light heavyweights Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker are expected to square off in September, according to Combate.
Santos (no. 4) suffered consecutive losses to Glover Teixeira and Aleksandar Rakic. Walker (no. 10) snapped his own two-fight losing streak by beating Ryan Spann last September. The bout will take place on a Fight Night card.
Alexandre Pantoja vs. Brandon Royval
A meaningful flyweight fight will serve underneath Costa vs. Cannonier on August 21.
Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval are expected to meet at the Fight NIght event, according to MMA Junkie.
Pannie Kianzad vs. Alexis Davis at UFC 263
Women's bantamweights will collide when Pannie Kianzad and Alexis Davis meet at UFC 263.
Canada's Davis is coming off a win vs. Sabina Maozo, her first in four years. Kianzad, a Swedish-Iranian, is riding a three-fight winning streak that includes Sijara Eubanks and Bethe Correira.
UFC 263 is headlined by Israel Adesanya vs Marvin Vettori for the UFC middleweight title, and also boasts Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Brandon Moreno 2 and Leon Edwards vs. Nate Diaz.