Jared Cannonier Makes Middleweight Debut at UFC 230 Following Fight Card Shuffle

October 20, 2018

The UFC 230 fight card has undergone a myriad of changes to this point, and we’ve still got two weeks to go until fight time. 

The last 24 hours in particular have seen a flurry of activity as Luke Rockhold had to withdraw from his co-main event rematch with Chris Weidman because of an undisclosed injury. He is hoping to return to training in about four weeks, according to ESPN.

Weidman wasn’t left without an opponent for long, as Ronald “Jacare” Souza, who had been slated to fight David Branch on the UFC 230 main card, quickly agreed to move into the co-main event slot and face Weidman. That, of course, left Branch without an opponent.

Acting swiftly, UFC officials enlisted Jared Cannonier to step in and face Branch. 

Having fought all of his previous bouts at either heavyweight or light heavyweight, Cannonier had been scheduled to make the drop to middleweight opposite Alessio Di Chirico at UFC Fight Night 140 later in November. With the opportunity to face Branch, Cannonier agreed to move his middleweight debut from Nov. 17 up to Nov. 3 in New York.

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Branch had been hoping to use the fight with Jacare as a stepping stone back into middleweight title contention, but he will instead be charged with welcoming Cannonier to the 185-pound weight class.

Dual-division champion Daniel Cormier puts his heavyweight title on the line against Derrick Lewis in the UFC 230 headlining bout at Madison Square Garden.