Major changes to UFC 270, UFC 269, and UFC 268 include Masvidal vs Edwards and rescheduled flyweight title fight

ufc 269, ufc 270
Nov 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Jorge Masvidal (red gloves) reacts during his fight against Nate Diaz (blue gloves) during UFC 244 at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Sarah Stier-USA TODAY Sports

Monday brought a slew of additions and changes to three of the UFC’s upcoming pay-per-view events in UFC 270, UFC 269, and UFC 268.

A bevy of news came yesterday regarding the promotion’s final mega-event of 2021, UFC 269. Veteran MMA reporter Ariel Helwani was first to report that “baddest motherf*cker champion,” and third-ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal is set to return to the Octagon at the December PPV event and will take on third-ranked talent Leon Edwards.

The pair have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to March of 2019. Following “Gaembred’s” knockout win over Edwards’ countrymen Darren Till in the main event of a UFC Fight Night card. An exchange of words between the two led to a physical altercation, and saw Masvidal land several unanswered punches on “Rocky’s” face. The incident is now known as the infamous, “three-piece and soda” incident in MMA circles.

UFC 269 gets two notable welterweight additions, including Masvidal vs Edwards

Both men have recently traded barbs on Twitter over if the matchup would actually happen. Since Edwards has made it clear on several occasions that a title fight is his preferred next bout. However, it seems the UFC made the 30-year-old an offer he could not refuse. As Edwards tweeted the word “Millionaire” via his Twitter account on Monday night.

The 36-year-old Masvidal (35-15) has not fought since a second straight championship loss to welterweight king Kamaru Usman at UFC 261 in April. Edwards last competed at UFC 263 in June. Beating Nate Diaz by unanimous decision in a special five-round non-title featured bout.

There was a second welterweight addition to the Dec. 11 card, as ESPN reported a booking between tenth-ranked Geoff Neal (13-4) and twelfth-ranked Santiago Ponzinibbio (28-4).

“The Argentine Dagger” is coming off a unanimous decision victory against Miguel Baeza in a June fight likely to be on many “fight of the year” lists for 2021. The win followed a 35-second KO loss to Jingliang Li in his Octagon return following two and half years away from the sport recovering from several infections in his body.

Neal is in the midst of the first losing streak of his career. Having come up short to top-15 talents Stephen Thompson and Neil Magny in his last two Octagon outings. He had previously won seven straight before the consecutive setbacks.

Moreno vs Figueiredo 3 shifted from UFC 269 to UFC 270

UFC 269 was originally set to have a championship tripleheader featuring a lightweight title fight of Dustin Poirier vs Charles Oliveira, a women’s bantamweight title bout pitting Amanda Nunes vs Julianna Pena, and a flyweight trilogy title fight in Brandon Moreno vs Deiveson Figueiredo.

However, with the big-name addition of Masvidal to the card, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that the 125-pound championship bout has been taken off the Dec. card and shifted to the promotion’s first PPV event of 2022, UFC 270. It will now serve as the co-main event for the Jan. 22 card that features a heavyweight title unification bout between reigning champion Francis Ngannou and against interim titleholder Ciryl Gane.

Okamoto noted in his Monday night tweet that the card’s location is likely to be Anaheim, Calif.

UFC 268 loses Rockhold vs Strickland

Unfortunately, all the news from yesterday could not all be good. One of the most anticipated bouts on the stacked Nov. 6 UFC 268 card, inside New York’s Madison Square Garden, is the middleweight matchup between seventh-ranked Sean Stickland and former Strikeforce and UFC 185-pound champion Luke Rockhold.

That booking is now scrapped after Rockhold announced via an Instagram Story that he won’t be able to make the date due to a back injury.

β€œThere’s no easy way to really say it, but the fight is off in New York,” Rockhold said in the video β€œI ended up herniating a disc in my back. L4, L5. The docs say it’s nothing I can play with. I need to do some treatment and recovery time.”

As of now, it is unclear if the promotion will look to find Strickland a new opponent for the Nov. PPV card or reschedule the matchup of heated rivals for a later date.

UFC 268 will be headlined by a welterweight title rematch pitting division king Kamaru Usman against top-contender Colby Covington.

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