Henry Cejudo vs. TJ Dillashaw flyweight superfight moved up from UFC 233 to Brooklyn card
The flyweight title bout will headline the first ESPN+ card in January
The flyweight superfight originally scheduled for Jan. 26 between champion Henry Cejudo and current bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw appears as if it will have a new date and location.
Cejudo-Dillashaw will be moved off the UFC 233 card in Anaheim, California, and serve as the main event one week earlier in Brooklyn, New York, UFC announced on Thursday night.
The 125-pound title fight will headline a UFC Fight Night card at the Barclays Center on ESPN+ that holds extra importance because it's the first in a multi-year deal between UFC and ESPN following this month's end of the existing broadcast deal with Fox that dates back to 2011.
Rumors have circulated that ESPN and parent company Disney demanded that the UFC's first show on ESPN's new premium streaming service be the kind of must-see card that makes a splash and increases subscriptions. UFC had previously had trouble finding a suitable main event for the card despite the high-profile additions of Paige VanZant and.
UFC is currently working on adding a new main event for UFC 233, which occurs on the same night and in the same city as a stacked card from rival Bellator MMA featuring the Heavyweight Grand Prix final between Fedor Emelianenko and light heavyweight champion Ryan Bader.
Both Cejudo (13-2) and Dillashaw (16-3) recorded big wins during their respective rematches at UFC 217 in July, also in Los Angeles, when Dillashaw knocked out former champion Cody Garbrandt and Cejudo upset long-reigning flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson to unseat him from pound-for-pound king status.
Cejudo-Dillashaw comes at an interesting time amid rumors that UFC is looking to fold its 125-pound men's division following a unique "trade" which sent Johnson to the ONE Championship promotion in Asia in exchange for welterweight Ben Askren. Although UFC has yet to confirm flyweight will be dissolved, Dillashaw recently told Helwani he was sent down "to kill" the division.
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