The dates for the Volkanovski-Topuria and O’Malley-Vera title fights have been announced

The official calendar of the world’s strongest league for next year has been updated with numbered events, the main events of which will be championship confrontations in the welterweight and lightweight divisions.

UFC 298, headlined by a title fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Elijah Topuria, will take place on Feb. 17, while Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera, announced as the headliners for UFC 299, will share the octagon on March 9. The location of the announced events remains unknown, but will be announced soon.

Alexander Volkanovski is looking to get his career back on track after a devastating loss to Islam Makhachev, to whom he lost by first-round knockout in a fight for the UFC lightweight championship belt on Oct. 21. In July, the Australian successfully unified the interim and current UFC featherweight titles with a third-round TKO of Yair Rodriguez.

The UFC’s No. 5 ranked welterweight, Elijah Topuria, is undefeated and riding a six-fight win streak in the organization, most recently winning a unanimous decision over Josh Emmett in June.

Sean O’Malley and Marlon Vera had their last fights on Aug. 19 at UFC 292 in Boston. The American finished compatriot Aljamain Sterling by second-round technical knockout in the main event to become the new lightweight division champion, while the Ecuadorian fighter won a unanimous decision over Pedro Munoz, putting his career back on track after a split decision loss to Corey Sandhagen.

In August 2020, Vera dealt O’Malley the first and only defeat of his professional career, finishing the future champion by technical knockout at the end of the opening five minutes. “Cheeto” is currently ranked sixth in the UFC’s lightweight division rankings.