The 2021 UFC schedule kicks off beginning on Jan. 16. While many title fights have already found their spots, March looks to get not one but two.
UFC Fight Island 7 starts a three-event stretch spanning across one week. Followed by UFC Fight Island 8, the first UFC pay-per-view of the year, UFC 257, will close things out.
On that Jan. 23 event, there will be no titles on the line. However, that isn’t expected to be the case for the second March PPV of the year.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani took to Twitter on Friday to reveal the UFC’s intentions for UFC 260 on March 27. Targeted atop the bill is the heavyweight title rematch between champion Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou. Preceding that would-be main event is planned to be the featherweight showdown featuring Alexander Volkanovski defending against Brian Ortega.
Per sources, the current plan for March’s second UFC PPV, on March 27, is for it to feature:
Stipe Miocic x Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title
Alexander Volkanovski x Brian Ortega for the 145 title.
However, neither fight is finalized just yet or officially agreed.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 16, 2021
“Per sources, the current plan for March’s second UFC PPV, on March 27, is for it to feature: Stipe Miocic x Francis Ngannou for the heavyweight title & Alexander Volkanovski x Brian Ortega for the 145 title. However, neither fight is finalized just yet or officially agreed.”
Originally, it was sounding like the big heavyweight rematch might take place in April. Though as he’s made it very clear, Ngannou has been dying to fight as soon as he possibly can.
Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, “The Predator” has finished all four of those opponents by knockout. If you count up his total time in action in that span, he’s only fought for two minutes and 42 seconds. His most recent fight took place at UFC 249 in May when dispatching of Jairzinho Rozenstruick.
Miocic and Ngannou’s first meeting came in January 2018 where the champion would retain via a hard-fought unanimous decision. Since then, Miocic had a trilogy with Daniel Cormier that saw him lose the first encounter before coming out victorious in the last two.
Similarly to Ngannou, Brian Ortega’s lone UFC title shot to this point also came in 2018 when he suffered his first career defeat to Max Holloway. For the champ in Volkanovski, a win for him would mark his second consecutive title defense after dethroning Holloway.