After Jacare Souza was pulled from his fight with David Branch to fill in for the injured Luke Rockhold against Chris Weidman, Jared Cannonier has stepped up on two weeks notice to face Branch.
Dana White told Brett Okamoto of ESPN the news on Saturday. Cannonier will be making his middleweight debut on the night, although he was already preparing for a contest at 185-pounds as he was booked to face Alessio Di Chirico later in November.
Branch (22-4) enters his fight with Cannonier on the back of a big first round knockout win against Thiago Santos in April. His eleven-fight winning streak was snapped before his most recent win as he suffered defeat for the first time in five years against Luke Rockhold.
For the first time in his career Cannonier (10-4) is riding consecutive defeats. Having been finished in the first-round by rising light heavyweight contender Dominick Reyes in May, Cannonier also dropped a decision to Jan Blachowicz in December 2017. His last win was a third round knockout against UFC debutant Nick Roehrick.
UFC 230 will takes place at Madison Square Garden on November 3rd. A heavyweight title fight between current champion Daniel Cormier and Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis will headline the card.