Knockdown Daily 9/30/21: UFC Begins To Plan First PPV of 2022

Reports about UFC's first pay-per-view event of 2022 lead the MMA headlines for Thursday

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Knockdown Daily. This issue will cover a lot of the recent moves on the UFC roster, including three fights that are expected to happen at the promotion’s first pay-per-view card of 2022.

News

Three Fights Join Early 2022 UFC 270 Lineup

Two matchups have recently been reported for UFC’s first pay-per-view event of 2022. The bouts join UFC 270, which is set to happen on January 22nd.

Brunson And Cannonier Booked In High-Profile Middleweight Matchup

Derek Brunson will get his long win streak tested at the pay-per-view event, facing Jared Cannonier at middleweight. The ranked pairing was first reported by Nolan King and John Morgan of MMA Junkie.

Brunson has been on a strong run recently, having won three consecutive main event fights. Two of those wins were earlier this year, where he defeated went to a unanimous decision over Kevin Holland and submitted Darren Till.

Cannonier has been at a high level of the middleweight division for the past couple of years. He bounced back from a loss in his last appearance, going five rounds to defeat Kelvin Gastelum in August.

Hardy Looks To Snap Losing Streak Against Veteran Oleinik

Greg Hardy will attempt to bounce back from a two-fight losing streak when meeting the experienced Aleksei Oleinik at UFC 270. Mike Bohn and John Morgan of MMA Junkie first confirmed the bout on Monday.

Hardy has been finished in his two most recent appearances. After suffering a second-round loss to Marcin Tybura in late 2020, he was stopped within a round by Tai Tuivasa in July.

Oleinik, an MMA veteran of over two decades, will also be looking to get out of a skid. He has lost his past three, making it the longest losing streak of his long career.

His last bout was in June, where Serghei Spivac defeated him on scorecards.

Dobson To Make UFC Debut Against Malkoun

AJ Dobson will make his UFC debut when facing Jacob Malkoun at middleweight, per a report from Raphael Marinho of Combate.

Dobson earned a UFC contract on TV show “Dana White’s Contender Series” earlier this month, securing a first-round rear naked choke submission win over Hashem Arkhagha on the show. The win extended his undefeated pro record to six consecutive victories.

Malkoun earned his first UFC win in April, fighting to a unanimous decision victory over Abdul Razak Alhassan.

Undefeated Lerone Murphy Steps In To Face Makwan Amirkhani At UFC 267

Makwan Amirkhani has received a new opponent for his October 30th UFC appearance, now being matched against Lerone Murphy instead of Tristan Connelly. The change in opponent was announced through the promotion’s social media Tuesday.

The fight gives Murphy a chance to make just his second appearance of the year. The England-based fighter had to recently pull out of a booking against Charles Jourdain due to visa issues.

Murphy presents a big challenge for Amirkhani, as he is undefeated and has won two of his three appearances in the UFC cage. Most recently he fought to a unanimous decision win over Douglas Silva de Andrade in January.

Amirkhani will be fighting to snap a two-fight skid. He has gone the distance in his past two fights, losing via decision to Edson Barboza and Kamuela Kirk.

It was reported this month that Connelly had to withdraw from the fight.

Connelly took to social media earlier this week to announce that he had to undergo a neck surgery, causing his departure from the lineup. He mentioned in his video update that he hopes to return to action in early 2022.

Sijara Eubanks To Replace Maryna Moroz In October 16th UFC Fight Against Luana Carolina

Nine-fight UFC vet Sijara Eubanks has stepped in to give Luana Carolina a new opponent in her October 16th UFC booking. Eubanks will be replacing Maryna Moroz, who withdrew from the fight, per a report from Guilherme Cruz and Mike Heck of MMA Fighting.

It is not known currently what has taken Moroz out of the lineup. The long-time UFC fighter has now been forced out of four consecutive bookings. These numerous setbacks have kept her out of competition since the first quarter of 2020.

Eubanks will be aiming to secure her second victory of the year. She got a win over short-notice UFC newcomer Elise Reed in July, finishing her within a round with ground and pound.

Before then, Eubanks was on a two-fight losing streak.

Carolina earned a split decision win against Poliana Botelho back in May, securing her first victory since 2019. The long delay before a win came in part due to a year-long break she had from the cage and a loss she suffered in 2020 to Ariane Lipski.

Tai Tuivasa Moved To November 20th UFC Card, Matched Against Augusto Sakai

Tai Tuivasa has gone from being paired against one ranked heavyweight to another. Previously booked to meet Walt Harris on October 30th, Tuivasa is now expected to fight Augusto Sakai at UFC’s November 20th event.

The new matchup was first reported by Raphael Marinho of Combate.

A win in November would allow Tuivasa to crash the heavyweight rankings and potentially even crack the top 10.

Sakai is currently ranked 10th in UFC’s heavyweight division. He has lost his last two fights in UFC main event bouts, although they have come against high-level talent Alistair Overeem and Jairzinho Rozenstruick.

Tuivasa has spent the past year climbing out of a losing streak that he had developed in 2018 and 2019. He has scored three consecutive wins recently, earning first-round finishes over some of the lower-ranked fighters in the division.

Tuivasa needed just a minute in his last appearance, stopping Greg Hardy with punches at UFC 264 in July.

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