The UFC's middleweight hierarchy will get some clarity before the close of the year.
Jared Cannonier and Roman Dolidze have verbally agreed to a contender bout at UFC Fight Night on Dec. 2, sources told ESPN on Friday. The location of the event has not been officially determined. Cannonier vs. Dolidze is not likely to be the headliner on the card, per sources.
ESPN has Cannonier ranked No. 4 and Dolidze No. 10 at middleweight. Cannonier weighed in as the backup for the UFC 293 middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Sean Strickland earlier this month in Australia.
Cannonier (17-6) has won two straight fights and four of his past five, most recently a unanimous decision over Marvin Vettori in June. The Arizona resident and MMA Lab product's lone losses at middleweight have come against former champs Adesanya and Robert Whittaker. Cannonier, 39, has stoppage victories in three UFC divisions.
Dolidze (12-2) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Vettori in March. The Republic of Georgia-born fighter, who trains out of Las Vegas, was on a four-bout winning streak prior to the defeat. Dolidze, 35, is 6-2 in the UFC.