The UFC just announced three exciting fights for 2019.
The ESPN-era is almost here, and to kick off the first card on ESPN+, Paige VanZant (7-4) will make her long-awaited return to the Octagon. VanZant will take on The Ultimate Fighter season 26 alum Rachael Ostovich (4-4) on January 18 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
VanZant has been out of action with an arm injury in which she suffered in her last bout in January against Jessica-Rose Clark. Just over a full calendar year will have passed between her next fight and last.
She’ll be looking to snap a two-fight losing streak after losses to Michelle Waterson and Clark.
For Ostovich, she is an Invicta FC veteran who is currently 1-1 in the UFC after competing on TUF 26 where she lost in the quarterfinals. She last fought in July where she lost to Montana De La Rose by rear naked choke.
Both VanZant and Ostovich are looking to get back to their winning ways and try to work themselves up the flyweight rankings.
While that fight will happen on ESPN+, the first pay-per-view of the year, UFC 233 on January 26 is starting to take shape. With Ben Askren vs Robbie Lawler close to finalization for the event, the UFC announced two lightweight bouts as James Vick (13-2) will be taking on Paul Felder (15-4).
— UFC (@ufc) November 6, 2018
Vick is coming off of a knockout loss to Justin Gaethje in August where he made his main event debut. The fight obviously did not go his way at all, and now a win over Felder will be just what he’s looking for to get him back on track.
Meanwhile, Felder experimented with a move up to welterweight in the Summer where he took on Mike Perry who would end up defeating him by decision unanimous decision. However, at lightweight Felder is currently riding a three-fight winning streak with his latest win coming against Charles Oliveira at UFC 218.
As for the other lightweight addition to UFC 233 in Anaheim, California, red-hot rising prospect Islam Makhachev (16-1) will look to break into the top 15 by taking out the always dangerous “Masaranduba” Francisco Trinaldo (23-6).
Both lightweight scraps have the potential to earn fight of the night. While many are curious to see how VanZant looks in her return. So far, the early parts of 2019 are shaping up to be great cards.
What are your thoughts on the fights?
*Update: Makhachev vs Trinaldo is reportedly not yet a done deal.
— MMA TEAM DAGESTAN (@MMATeamDagestan) November 6, 2018
⚡️ A few hours ago, Khabib said that this is not true and asked to remove the announcement from the official #UFCRussia instagram page.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 11/6/2018.