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Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier set for UFC 248

The former UFC middleweight champion will face rising contender Jared Cannonier in March.

UFC 243 Whittaker v Adesanya Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Robert Whittaker’s first fight since losing his UFC middleweight title is now confirmed, and it’s anything but an easy matchup.

The UFC announced on Thursday night that Whittaker will take on the surging Jared Cannonier at UFC 248 in Las Vegas on March 7th.

Whittaker (20-5) was knocked out by Israel Adesanya at UFC 243, ending his reign as middleweight champion. “The Reaper” had been undefeated at 185 lbs prior to the Adesanya bout, notably stopping Derek Brunson and Ronaldo Souza, as well as two incredible fights and close wins over Yoel Romero.

While Whittaker became a force at 185 lbs after moving up in weight, Cannonier (13-4) has become a legitimate contender after starting his career as a heavyweight. “The Killa Gorilla” has bested David Branch, Anderson Silva, and Jack Hermansson all by TKO during his run up the middleweight ranks. If he were to beat Whittaker, he’d surely be on the cusp of a title shot.

There was some talk about Whittaker facing Darren Till at UFC London, but obviously that’s not happening, and now it’s logically looking like we could see Till take on Jack Hermansson instead.

No main event has been confirmed for UFC 248, although the co-main event is a strawweight title bout between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.