UFC's Dana White announces upcoming title bouts for UFC 297, UFC 298 and UFC 299

Marlon Vera before fighting Frankie Edgar in a bantamweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 268, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)
Marlon Vera will have a rematch against Sean O'Malley at UFC 299 in March 2024. UFC CEO Dana White announced the news Monday afternoon. (AP Photo/Corey Sipkin)

Christmas has come a month early for UFC fans.

On Monday afternoon, UFC CEO Dana White took to X — formerly Twitter — to reveal the next three title fights to start 2024.

For UFC 297, newly crowned middleweight champion Sean Strickland will defend his title against No. 2-ranked Dricus Du Plessis in January. Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria will square off in February for UFC 298. In March, bantamweight champion Sean O'Malley and Marlon "Chito" Vera will have a rematch for UFC 299.

Strickland, coming off an upset of Israel Adesanya in September at UFC 293, will begin his middleweight championship defense against Du Plessis, a South African contender. Volkanovski, who has held the featherweight belt since December 2019 and is considered the favorite, faces Topuria following his triumphant victory over Josh Emmett.

The one bout that has really got the people going online is the third fight White revealed in the video, though. Vera and O'Malley, the bantamweight titleholder, are getting their highly anticipated rematch.

O'Malley entered their UFC 252 match undefeated in MMA, so his TKO loss to Vera in August 2020 remains his only loss. Since then, O'Malley has been on a tear winning five of his last six fights — with a no-contest against Pedro Munhoz at UFC 276 being the only exception. O'Malley enters the bout with plenty of momentum, though, after his second-round knockout of Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292 to win the title.