The UFC is finalizing a middleweight contest between former champion Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier for its UFC 254 pay-per-view occasion, UFC president Dana White informed ESPN on Friday.

UFC 254 is scheduled to happen on Oct. 24 at a location to be decided.

Whittaker (21-5) is contemporary off a unanimous choice win in opposition to Darren Until in the primary occasion of UFC Battle Night time final weekend on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The 29-year-old was scheduled to face Cannonier as soon as already, at UFC 248 in March, however was compelled to withdraw due to private causes.

Combating out of Australia, Whittaker surrendered the middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya in October 2019. It’s his solely loss in his previous 11 appearances.

Cannonier (13-4) has not fought since September. The UFC initially tried to e-book him one other opponent in March after Whittaker withdrew, however Cannonier was finally compelled to delay his return to the Octagon due to a chest harm.

A former heavyweight, Cannonier is 3-Zero since settling into the middleweight division in 2018. He has recorded wins in opposition to David Department, Anderson Silva and Jack Hermansson.

A light-weight unification bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Justin Gaethje is slated to headline UFC 254.