Another key flyweight fight is heading to Brooklyn.
Former two-time UFC title challenger Joseph Benavidez will rematch the surging Dustin Ortiz on the UFC’s inaugural ESPN+ card Jan. 19. Newsday was the first to report the booking.
Benavidez (26-5), one the UFC’s longest tenured flyweight, won a unanimous decision over Ortiz (19-7) in initial meeting in 2014.
Since then, Benavidez has essentially fought a who’s who at the top of the 125-pound division, which includes wins over fellow title challengers John Moraga, Ali Bagautinov and Tim Elliot as well as current champion Henry Cejudo. In his most recent contest, Benavidez finished Alex Perez late in the first round of their matchup at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale in November. Prior to this, he dropped a narrow split decision to Sergio Pettis at UFC 225 in June.
Ortiz, on the other hand, went on to drop three of his next five fights after coming up short to Benavidez. However, the Tennessee native has since rebounded with three consecutive victories, including a pair of first-round knockouts over Hector Sandoval and Matheus Nicolau.
The entire card will go down on Jan. 19 at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn. While nothing is official, Benavidez is expected to serve as a potential replacement for the event’s main event between Cejudo and T.J. Dillashaw if one of them drops out.