UFC Kicks Off 2019 on ESPN+ with Flyweight Championship Superfight

Las Vegas – UFC® debuts on ESPN+ in Brooklyn, NY with a championship superfight that will see newly crowned flyweight titleholder Henry Cejudo make his first title defense against current bantamweight champTJ Dillashaw. Also, fan favorite Paige VanZantreturns to the Octagon to take on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion veteranRachael Ostovich. UFC FIGHT NIGHT ON ESPN+®: CEJUDO vs. DILLASHAW takes place Saturday, Jan. 19 at Barclays Center and will stream live at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, with the prelims kicking off the evening at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ESPN and ESPN Deportes and the early prelims on ESPN+ at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT. All UFC live events on ESPN+ will be available in English and Spanish.

An Olympic wrestling gold medal winner,Cejudo (13-2, fighting out of Phoenix, Ariz.) put on his most spectacular performance to date in August when he dethroned dominant flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson. During his UFC career, he has also earned impressive victories over Sergio Pettis, Wilson Reis, Jussier Formiga and Chris Cariaso. Cejudo now looks to make his first successful title defense in the biggest fight of his career.

Dillashaw (17-3, fighting out of Angels Camp, Calif.) aims to make history by joining Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier as only the third fighter to simultaneously hold championships in two UFC divisions. Dillashaw most recently defended his bantamweight belt against heated rival Cody Garbrandt by sensational KO. He also holds incredible wins against Renan Barao, John Lineker and Raphael Assuncao. Dillashaw is now poised to etch his name among the all-time UFC greats.

Looking for her first win at flyweight, VanZant(7-4, fighting out of Portland, Ore.) finally returns to action after a year off due to injury. A fan favorite for her time on season 22 ofDancing with the Stars where she placed second, VanZant is still one of the youngest fighters on the roster. She intends to show off her constantly-evolving mixed martial arts skills by outdoing her highlight reel knockout of Bec Rawlings and earning the third post-fight bonus of her career.

Ostovich (4-4, fighting out of Waianae, Hawaii) looks to start 2019 off on a high note by earning her second UFC win in the biggest opportunity of her career. A quarterfinalist on her season of The Ultimate Fighter, Ostovich has won half of her fights by submission, most recently tapping out fellow TUF competitor Karine Gevorgyan in under two minutes. She is now positioned to break into the top-15 rankings with an impressive win.

Announced bouts on the card include:

No.11-ranked light heavyweight contender and former title challengerGlover Teixeira (27-7, fighting out of Danbury, Conn. by way of Governador Valadares, Brazil) goes to war with power-punching Ion Cutelaba (14-3, fighting out of Chisinau, Moldova)

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series signee Allen Crowder (9-3, fighting out of Mebane, N.C.) looks to spoil the highly-anticipated debut of ex-NFL starGreg Hardy (3-0, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.)

No. 11-ranked Joanne Calderwood (12-3, fighting out of Glasgow, Scotland) intends to defend her top-15 rank against the debuting Ariane Lipski (11-3, fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil)

New York’s Randy Brown (10-3, fighting out of Queens, N.Y.) looks to rebound against Chance Rencountre (12-3, fighting out of Pawhuska, Okla.)

In a battle of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series contract winners,Alonzo Menifield (7-0, fighting out of Dallas, Tex.) takes on Vinicius Moreira(9-1, fighting out of Brasilia, Brazil)

Belal Muhammad (14-2, fighting out of Chicago, Ill.) meets Geoff Neal (10-2, fighting out of Dallas, Tex.) in a welterweight thriller


Author: Robert Belen

Robert Belen is a long-time combat sports writer for dSource Boxing. An avid sports fan, he knows no fear nor partiality in his reporting. If you have a problem with him, tell it to his face. (We bid you not.) You can follow him on Twitter @robertbelen

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