The UFC will be ending 2023 on a high.
UFC president Dana White announced three major title fights to end the year on Wednesday night. The first of the three is a welterweight title fight between current champion Leon Edwards and Colby Covington.
Although it was originally expected to co-headline the upcoming UFC 295 event that takes place Nov. 11 in Madison Square Garden, New York, the welterweight title fight will now headline the year-ending UFC 296 event taking place Dec. 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Edwards won the welterweight title after knocking out former longtime champion Kamaru Usman last year. “Rocky” would earn the first defense of his title after defeating Usman via unanimous decision in what was their trilogy fight earlier this year.
Covington, meanwhile, last competed in March of 2022 when he outpointed Jorge Masvidal. He is 0-2 in welterweight title shots with both his defeats coming to Usman. One would imagine this could be his last shot at the 170-pound strap.
But that's not all.
UFC 296 will have another title fight on the main card as a flyweight title fight between current champion Alexandre Pantoja and Brandon Royval will serve as the co-main event.
Pantoja only recently became the 125-pound king after a unanimous decision victory over two-time champion Brandon Moreno at UFC 290 in July. His first title defense will come against Royval who is one of the most exciting flyweights in the division.
The American is on a three-fight winning streak following wins over Rogerio Bontorin, Matt Schnell and Matheus Nicolau. With an overall promotional record of 5-2, Royval is set for his first UFC title shot.
There was a title fight added to UFC 295 as well.
That event is currently headlined by a mega heavyweight title clash between current champion Jon Jones and former two-time champion Stipe Miocic.
The card is now further beefed up as Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira will collide for the vacant light heavyweight title in a fight that will co-headline the event.
Prochazka, of course, was the former 205-pound champion who never lost his title in the octagon. Instead, he had to vacate the title after suffering a serious shoulder injury last year that required surgery.
Pereira, meanwhile, is the former middleweight champion who recently enjoyed a winning start to life at light heavyweight following a split decision victory over former champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 291.