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FORMER UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker is wasting little time heading back into the Octagon after agreeing to scrap Jared Cannonier.

The 29-year-old impressively beat Darren Till at UFC's Fight Island 3 last weekend to bounce back from his loss to Israel Adesanya.

2Robert Whittaker, left, will head back into the Octagon in OctoberCredit: 2020 Zuffa LLC

And he has already plotted his next bout with a fight against American Cannonier to take place on October 24 at UFC 254.

That is according to ESPN reporter Brett Okamoto who said: "Robert Whittaker vs. Jared Cannonier, UFC 254 on Oct. 24. Per UFC president Dana White.

"Gotta believe that will determine the next No. 1 contender."

It will be the first step for Whittaker in his quest to win back the middleweight belt.

He was forced to surrender his title following his crushing October knockout defeat to Adesanya.

But a win over Cannonier is likely to set up another title fight against the winner of Adesanya or Paulo Costa who square off at UFC 253.

Whittaker, 29, will head into the bout with 21 wins from 26 fights while Cannonier has 13 wins from 17.

The pair were due to fight at UFC 248 in March but it was called off with Whittaker citing personal reasons.

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Whittaker later revealed in an interview that he was forced to pull out because he was suffering from burnout.

He said at the time: "There are a few other things going on in my life that I need to give priority to and sort out, so I have had to change my plans.

"But I'll be back soon, bigger and better than ever! Sorry Jared … I'll see you down the track."

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Kevin Holland vs. recent LFA winner Joaquin Buckley a late addition to UFC on ESPN+ 32

Why dont all cities with high rates of crime get similar Trump treatment? McDonalds CEO seems to hint at an upgraded chicken sandwich Kevin Holland vs. recent LFA winner Joaquin Buckley a late addition to UFC on ESPN+ 32

This week’s UFC on ESPN+ 32 event has a late addition fight for the card.

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Joaquin Buckley (10-2 MMA, 0-0 UFC), who picked up a second-round TKO win over Jackie Gosh at LFA 87 this past Friday, did enough in that fight to earn a short-notice call from the UFC. A matchup with Kevin Holland (17-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) at middleweight is set for the event, multiple people with knowledge of the booking told MMA Junkie. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the UFC has not yet made the booking official.

UFC on ESPN+ 32 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The event streams on ESPN+.

Holland was scheduled to take on Trevin Giles this past Saturday at UFC on ESPN+ 31. But when Giles fained ahead of the fight, he had to be removed from the card, leaving Holland without an opponent. The UFC wanted to get him matched up again quickly and wasted little time.

The 27-year-old Holland got back in the win column in May with a 39-second TKO of Anthony Hernandez. It put him back on the plus side after a submission loss to Brendan Allen this past October snapped a three-fight winning streak.

Buckley took out Gosh with a brutal stoppage in South Dakota in a bout that streamed on UFC Fight Pass. It was his second straight LFA win after coming to the promotion after a five-fight run in Bellator that saw him go 3-2. One of those two losses came by TKO to Gosh in November 2016, so the win over him was a matter of revenge nearly four years later.

With the addition, the UFC on ESPN+ 32 card now includes:

MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 9 p.m. ET)

Derrick Lewis vs. Aleksei Oleinik Omari Akhmedov vs. Chris Weidman Maki Pitolo vs. Darren Stewart Yana Kunitskaya vs. Julija Stoliarenko Beneil Dariush vs. Scott Holtzman


Tim Means vs. Laureano Staropoli Nasrat Haqparast vs. Alex Munoz Andrew Sanchez vs. Wellington Turman Justin Jaynes vs. Gavin Tucker Peter Barrett vs. Youssef Zalal Ali Alqaisi vs. Irwin Riverac Joaquin Buckley vs. Kevin Holland MORE:

Trevin Giles released from hospital after fainting at UFC on ESPN+ 31, to undergo further testing

Never broken: How Jerome Rivera defeated adversity's best attempts to derail his DWCS opportunity

Kevin Syler reveals positive COVID-19 test forced withdrawal from Dana White's Contender Series 27

Video, photos: Dana White's Contender Series 27 faceoffs in Las Vegas

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Gallery: UFC on ESPN+ 31: Official scorecards from Las Vegas (SMG)

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