It’s a little later in the year than usual, but the following year’s UFC schedule is finally starting to gather some form.
While the fight promotion typically has several dates announced for the upcoming year this late in the current year, UFC officials have been slow to reveal much information about 2020.
UFC media partner ESPN on Wednesday, however, laid out the top fights for an upcoming UFC Fight Night slated for Jan. 25 in Raleigh, N.C., which MMAWeekly.com sources later confirmed.
Junior dos Santos will square off in a heavyweight headliner opposite Curtis Blaydes, while Frankie Edgar will make his bantamweight debut opposite Cory Sandhagen in the night’s co-main event.
Dos Santos had been slated to meet Alexander Volkanovski in the recent UFC on ESPN+ 21 headliner in Moscow. The bout was derailed when dos Santos had to withdraw because of a bacterial infection in his leg.
How the UFC North Carolina main eventers match up
On the mend, dos Santos will instead return in January to face Blaydes. dos Santos had been on a path back to title contention, reeling off three consecutive victories before losing to Francis Ngannou in his most recent bout.
Blaydes’s most recent defeat was also at the hands of Ngannou in late 2018, though he has since rebounded with back-to-back victories in 2019.
Edgar has faced a rocky road at featherweight over the past few years, leading him to make the drop to bantamweight, where he now finds himself fighting in North Carolina. Though he’s not strange to tough fights, he faces a difficult icebreaker in Sandhagen for his 135-pound debut.
Sandhagen has only even lost one bout, and that was prior to entering the Octagon. Since joining the ranks of the UFC, he has won all five of his fights, including wins over John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao in his last two bouts.