Two big matchups in the bantamweight division are currently in the process of being added to UFC’s December 11th pay-per-view lineup, per reports. The bouts join the lineup for UFC 269, which doesn’t have a confirmed location at the moment.
UFC Looking To Book Munhoz vs. Cruz
Former UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz could compete late this year, as he is being targeted to face Pedro Munhoz. While the fight hasn’t been officially signed off on, it has been verbally agreed upon, per Guilherme Cruz and Damon Martin of MMA Fighting.
Cruz scored his first win in nearly five years in March, winning his bout with a split decision victory over Casey Kenney. The former champ had made his return a year prior, losing a bantamweight title shot against Henry Cejudo.
Cruz was UFC’s 135-pound champ in 2016, defending the belt once before dropping it to Cody Garbrandt via unanimous decision.
Munhoz has lost three of his past five bouts, although those losses have come against the top of the division, including former champ Frankie Edgar and current titleholder Aljamain Sterling.
Munhoz last competed in August, losing a decision to Jose Aldo at UFC 265.
Flashy Finisher O’Malley Paired Against Paiva
Sean O’Malley will look to continue his dominant campaign at bantamweight when facing Raulian Paiva. ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that the UFC are currently in the process of finalizing this bantamweight fight.
Paiva is currently on a three-fight winning streak in the UFC. While he will likely not be favored in his fight against O’Malley, that momentum already makes him one of the biggest challengers yet for the rising prospect.
Paiva made the move up to bantamweight in his last fight, changing divisions after four bouts at flyweight. He notably missed weight in his final flyweight bout, coming in three pounds over the non-championship limit.
Paiva’s bantamweight debut was in July, where he picked up a majority decision win over Kyler Phillips.
UFC’s final PPV event of the year is set to be a big one, including three title fights and many notable names from the promotion. Here’s the updated lineup:
Bout 10: Charles Oliveira (31-8) vs. Dustin Poirier (28-6) (UFC Lightweight Championship)
Bout 9: Amanda Nunes (21-4) vs. Julianna Pena (10-4) (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
Bout 8: Brandon Moreno (19-5-2) vs. Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) (UFC Flyweight Championship)
Bout 7: Kai Kara-France (22-9) vs. Cody Garbrandt (12-4) (Flyweight)
Bout 6: Maycee Barber (9-2) vs. Montana De La Rosa (12-6-1) (Flyweight)
Bout 5: Randy Costa (6-2) vs. Tony Kelley (7-2) (Bantamweight)
Bout 4: Dricus Du Plessis (16-2) vs. Andre Muniz (21-4) (Middleweight)
Bout 3: Darrick Minner (26-12) vs. Ryan Hall (8-2) (Featherweight)
Bout 2: Pedro Munghoz (19-6) vs. Dominick Cruz (23-3) (Bantamweight)
Bout 1: Sean O’Malley (14-1) vs. Raulian Paiva (21-3) (Bantamweight)