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TORONTO – UFC President Dana White today confirmed the recently announced UFC on FOX 26 main event between Robbie Lawler and Rafael dos Anjos is a title-eliminator in the welterweight division.

The UFC revealed this week that Lawler (28-11 MMA, 13-5 UFC) and dos Anjos (27-9 MMA, 16-7 UFC) will meet in the Dec. 16 headliner of UFC on FOX 26, which takes place MTS Center in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and airs on FOX following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass. It’s a high-profile matchup, and one that will determine who gets the next crack at reigning welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1 MMA, 8-2-1 UFC).

White’s response was right to the point.

“Yup,” he told MMAjunkie at today’s UFC 217 news conference in Toronto when asked if the Lawler vs. dos Anjos winner is next in line for a title shot.

“Rafael dos Anjos just had a great win to get himself back into contention and a win over Robbie Lawler obviously would do it,” White later told Canada’s TSN.

Following the announcement of the fight, dos Anjos began to make a push for an interim title to be put on the line in his clash with Lawler. Woodley, who most recently defended his belt with a unanimous decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 214 in July, took exception to that request, noting that he’s been one of the most active champions in the sport over the past year.

Woodley, No. 1 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, is expected to be out until early 2018 while he recovers from a shoulder injury. That gives him the perfect amount of time to get healthy and see how the bout between No. 3-ranked Lawler and No. 12-ranked dos Anjos plays out.

For more on UFC on FOX 26, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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