The contest marks Vannata’s first time competing at 145lbs, with the American having fought at lightweight for the vast majority of his career and the entirety of his time with the UFC.
Vannata (11-5-2) has won just two of his last eight fights – with two draws and four defeats in that run – while former wrestler Grundy (12-2) is looking to bounce back from a defeat by Movsar Evloev in his last bout.
That unanimous decision loss last July saw the Englishman go 1-1 in the UFC following his successful promotional debut in 2019 against Nad Narimani, a meeting that Grundy won via second-round TKO.
Vannata’s last appearance in the Octagon, meanwhile, saw the 29-year-old outpointed by Bobby Green in August.
The New Jersey native is now hoping to refresh his career by moving down a weight class – nine years after signing with the UFC – as he takes on 34-year-old Grundy, whose scheduled bout with Nik Lentz in January was cancelled after a member of Grundy’s team tested positive for coronavirus.
UFC 262 is set to be headlined by Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira’s contest for the vacant lightweight title, with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani reporting on Tuesday that Leon Edwards vs Nate Diaz is due to serve as co-main event.
That match-up will mark the first time a non-title fight has been a five-round co-main event in the UFC – as opposed to a three-round bout – according to Helwani.
Elsewhere on the card, former interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will take on Beneil Dariush, Shane Burgos faces Edson Barboza in a featherweight bout, and middleweights Jack Hermansson and Edmen Shahbazyan go head-to-head.
UFC 262 will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
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