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UFC Kicks Off 2019 with Flyweight Championship Superfight

Cejudo vs Dillashaw set for 2019 curtain raiser

Las Vegas, December 14: UFC debuts on ESPN+ in Brooklyn, New York with a championship superfight that will see newly crowned flyweight titleholder Henry Cejudo make his first title defense against current bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw.

Also, fan favorite Paige VanZant returns to the Octagon to take on The Ultimate Fighter: A New World Champion veteran Rachael Ostovich at UFC Fight Night 143: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw which takes place on Saturday, Jan. 19 at Barclays Center

The event 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 of Dancing 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.

Also in the card features, the Cowboy Donald Cerrone's return to lightweight when he meets Alex Hernandez.


Announced bouts on the card include:


No.11-ranked light heavyweight contender and former title challenger Glover 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 star Greg 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.


This how the card looks for now:


Flyweight title bout: Henry Cejudo (c) vs. T.J. Dillashaw

Women's Flyweight bout: Paige VanZant vs. Rachael Ostovich

Light Heavyweight bout: Glover Teixeira vs. Ion Cutelaba

Women's Flyweight bout: Joanne Calderwood vs. Ariane Lipski

Welterweight bout: Randy Brown vs. Chance Rencountre

Light Heavyweight bout: Alonzo Menifield vs. Vinicius Castro

Welterweight bout: Belal Muhammad vs. Geoff Neal

Heavyweight bout: Allen Crowder vs. Greg Hardy

Lightweight bout: Donald Cerrone vs. Alexander Hernandez

Source: Press Release

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    Story first published: Friday, December 14, 2018, 10:50 [IST]
    Other articles published on Dec 14, 2018
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