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Fights on Tap: Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis among 10 UFC bouts announced

Check out all the fights announced over the past week in the UFC, Bellator and other promotions.

Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 36.
Derek Brunson at UFC Vegas 36.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Fights on Tap is a weekly roundup of all the fights booked in the UFC, Bellator and other promotions.

Happy New Year, BE! Did your celebrations include watching RIZIN 40: RIZIN FF vs. Bellator MMA and Cage Warriors 148: Team Europe vs. Team USA? I hope so! With those events over, we can look at what we have ahead of us on the upcoming schedule (which officially starts next week with UFC Vegas 67!).

The UFC either announced or finalized ten fights this week, and a pair of ranked middleweights are expected to collide in the first quarter of 2023.

Derek Brunson is planning on being active this year, so he wants four fights. For his first one, it looks like he’ll be sharing the Octagon with Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 285, the upcoming pay-per-view scheduled for March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

In his most recent appearance, Brunson suffered a second-round TKO loss to Jared Cannonier at UFC 271 way back in February. That loss snapped a five-fight win streak for the perennial contender. As for Du Plessis, he earned the biggest win of his UFC career with a third-round submission of Darren Till at UFC 282 in December.

On the Bellator front, Bellator 290 has a new co-main event. With the light heavyweight championship fight between Vadim Nemkov and Yoel Romero canceled, the promotion has tapped the newly crowned middleweight champion to defend his title for the first time. Johnny Eblen defends against Anatoly Tokov, who earned his title shot after a first-round TKO of Muhammad Abdullah at Bellator 282.

UFC Vegas 67 — January 14
Mateusz Rębecki vs. Nick Fiore — lightweight
First rep. by Rębecki management

UFC Vegas 68 — February 4
Doo Ho Choi vs. Kyle Nelson — featherweight
Jun Yong Park vs. Denis Tiuliulin — middleweight
Yusaku Kinoshita vs. Adam Fugitt — welterweight
Tatsuro Taira vs. Jesús Santos Aguilar — flyweight
All fights were already confirmed but shifted from UFC Seoul to UFC Vegas 68

UFC 284 — February 11
Blake Bilder vs. Shane Young — featherweight
First rep. by Mike Heck of MMA Fighting

UFC Vegas 69 — February 18
AJ Fletcher vs. Themba Gorimbo — welterweight
First rep. by Marcel Dorff of Eurosport Nederland

UFC 285 — March 4
Derek Brunson vs. Dricus Du Plessis — middleweight
First rep. by Brett Okamoto of ESPN

UFC San Antonio — March 25
Sean Brady vs. Michel Pereira — welterweight
First rep. by Pereira on PVT, later confirmed by Damon Martin of MMA Fighting

UFC Fight Night — April 8
Rob Font vs. Adrian Yañez — bantamweight
First rep. by Mike Heck of MMA Fighting


Announced Bellator fights:

Bellator 290 — February 4
Johnny Eblen vs. Anatoly Tokov — middleweight
First rep. by Brett Okamoto of ESPN


Announced Professional Fighters League (PFL) fights:

PFL Challenger Series Week 3 — February 10
Giacomo Lemos vs. Danilo Marques — heavyweight
Greg Velasco vs. Vitor Resende — heavyweight
Abraham Bably vs. Hassan Graham — heavyweight
Louie Sutherland vs. Alton Meeks — heavyweight


Announced KSW fights:

KSW 78 — January 21
Borys Mańkowski vs. Valeriu Mircea — lightweight
Rafał Kijańczuk vs. Marc Doussis — light heavyweight
Oskar Szczepaniak vs. Raimondas Krilavičius — lightweight