The first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event of 2019 and the first on DStv is UFC Fight Night 143, which will be staged at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Sunday 20 January 2019. DStv Premium and Compact Plus customers can catch it live from 3am on Supersport 6 (DStv channel 206).
The event is headlined by a UFC flyweight championship bout between TJ Dillashaw and Henry Cejudo. Both fighters are current champions, with Cejudo the reigning flyweight title holder, while Dillashaw is the current, two-time bantamweight champion.
Dillashaw is looking to become the third man to be champion in two divisions simultaneously and the fourth fighter overall (after Conor McGregor at UFC 205, Daniel Cormier at UFC 226 and Amanda Nunes at UFC 232), as well as the seventh person overall to win a title in different divisions. This also will be the fifth time in UFC history that champions in different divisions fight for the same title.
Cejudo, 31, is a former Olympic Games gold medallist in freestyle wrestling and won the UFC flyweight title in his most recent bout, defeating Demetrious Johnson on a split decision at UFC 227 in Los Angeles in August 2018. His professional MMA record is 13-2-0.
Dillashaw, 32, is nicknamed the ‘Viper’ and started his current reign as UFC bantamweight champion in November 2017 when he defeated Cody Garbrandt on a TKO at UFC 217 in New York. He rematched Garbrandt at UFC 227 in August last year and defended his crown with another TKO victory. His professional MMA record is 16-3-0.
The co-main event is a heavyweight bout between Greg Hardy (3-0-0) and Allen Crowder (7-3-0). Hardy, 30, is a former professional American football player who came through UFC president Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series and will be making his promotional debut at Fight Night 143, while ‘Pretty Boy’ Crowder will be looking to bounce back from his UFC 218 defeat to Justin Willis in December 2017.
The remainder of the main card features a lightweight bout between Gregor Gillespie (12-0-0) and Yancy Meideros (15-5-0, 1NC), Joseph Benavidez (26-5-0) takes on Dustin Ortiz (19-7-0) in a flyweight fight, women flyweight contenders Paige VanZant (7-4-0) and Racael Ostovich (4-4-0) will have their match which was originally scheduled for November last year, and a light heavyweight fight between Glover Teixeira (27-7-0) and Ion Cutelaba (14-3-0, 1NC) will open the feature proceedings at the Barclays Center.
UFC Fight Night 143 – Main Card
Main event: Flyweight: Henry Cejudo (13-2-0) v TJ Dillashaw (16-3-0)
Co-main event: Heavyweight: Greg Hardy (3-0-0) v Allen Crowder (7-3-0)
Lightweight: Gregor Gillespie (12-0-0) v Yancy Meideros (15-5-0, 1NC)
Flyweight: Joseph Benavidez (26-5-0) v Dustin Ortiz (19-7-0)
Women flyweight: Paige VanZant (7-4-0) v Racael Ostovich (4-4-0)
Light heavyweight: Glover Teixeira (27-7-0) v Ion Cutelaba (14-3-0, 1NC)
Lightweight: Alexander Hernandez (10-1-0) v Donald Cerrone (34-10-0, 1NC)
Women flyweight: Joanne Calderwood (12-3-0) v Ariane Lipski (11-3-0)
Light heavyweight: Alonzo Menifield (7-0-0) v Vinicius Moreira (9-1-0)
Bantamweight: John Lineker (31-8-0) v Cory Sandhagen (8-1-0)
Early Preliminary Card
Lightweight: Dennis Bermudez (16-9-0) v Te’Jovan Edwards (5-2-0)
Welterweight: Belal Muhammad (14-2-0) v Geoff Neal (10-2-0)
Welterweight: Randy Brown (10-3-0) v Chance Rencountre (12-3-0)