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Jessica Eye Gets Next UFC Title Shot in Women’s Flyweight Division

Valentina Shevchenko won the vacant UFC women's flyweight title by defeating former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision at UFC 231 in December. Who she'd face in her first title defense remained a mystery... until Saturday.

UFC president Dana White revealed that Jessica Eye would face Shevchenko in the Russian's first title defense during the UFC on ESPN+ 1 post fight press conference.

"I think we said that we were going to do a fight with Jessica Eye. I think Eye is next," said White.

The women's flyweight division was created in 2017.  The organization crowned its first champion through a tournament that played out on The Ultimate Fighter reality series.  Nicco Montano won the inaugural championship, but was stripped of the title after she couldn't make weight for a scheduled title bout against Shevchenko at UFC 228. 

TRENDING > TJ Dillashaw, Dana White Dispute ‘Horrible’ Stoppage in Main Event, Henry Cejudo Disagrees

Eye (14-6, 1 NC) is riding a three-fighting winning streak since moving to the women's 125-pound division in January 2018. Eye is ranked as the top contender in the weight class. 

Shevchenko dropped down to the flyweight division after losing a razor-close decision to bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes at UFC 215. 

Dana White Likes the Idea of Conor McGregor vs. Cowboy Cerrone

Conor McGregor and Donald Cerrone

Shortly after Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone's victory over Alex Hernandez on Saturday night, he called for a shot at Conor McGregor. The Irishman seems keen to oblige.

Don't go etching the fight in stone, just yet, but UFC president Dana White is keen on the idea as well.

After he failed to take the lightweight belt from Rafael Dos Anjos in late 2015, Cerrone spent the next three years at welterweight, fighting the best the 170-pound division had to offer. Though he's always exciting, Cerrone found moderate success in the heavier division, but decided it was time to return to 155 pounds to get serious about a UFC championship.

Cerrone was immediately thrown in with one of the hottest prospects in the division at UFC Brooklyn, the promotion's debut event with ESPN. Despite being an underdog in the bout, he showed that he's a dog that may be aging, but has also learned a few tricks along the way.

Hernandez came at him hard early, but Cerrone blasted him with a head kick in the second round and finished for a TKO stoppage. He then moved on to McGregor, whom he has been trying to talk into a fight for some time now.

“I want top five. I even want Conor if he’ll agree to it.”

In fact, the two actually began exchanging words several years ago at a massive UFC press conference. Now, however, it appears McGregor is ready to give Cowboy his due.

“For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you,” McGregor said via Twitter. “Congratulations.”

McGregor is still in the midst of adjudicating a disciplinary complaint by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for his actions in the UFC 229 post-fight melee following his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov, so White isn't currently at liberty to make any decisions regarding what's next for the biggest star in the sport. But he does appreciate the idea of the two extremely popular fighters meeting in the Octagon.

"If those guys want that (fight) and fans want to see it, that's what I do," White said at the UFC on ESPN+ 1 Post-Fight Press Conference in Brooklyn.

TRENDING > TJ Dillashaw, Dana White Dispute ‘Horrible’ Stoppage in Main Event, Henry Cejudo Disagrees

"We'll see what happens. Don't run out there and say that's the fight I'm making. I don't know what I'm gonna do. But I like the fact that two of these guys that are complete dogs and fight anybody – are willing to fight anybody – want to fight each other; that's fun."

McGregor is currently slated to go before the NSAC at the end of this month to learn his fate. So we'll all have to wait and see what the outcome of the hearing before we know if a proposed fight with Cerrone might actually come to fruition.

Conor McGregor Has Fiery Words for Everyone, Including Donald Cerrone (circa 2015)

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TJ Dillashaw, Dana White Dispute ‘Horrible’ Stoppage in Main Event, Henry Cejudo Disagrees

TJ Dillashaw may have lost in 32 seconds to Henry Cejudo on Saturday night at the first ever UFC on ESPN card from Brooklyn but he refuses to accept defeat.

The end of the fight game in blistering fashion after Cejudo blasted Dillashaw with a head kick and then followed that up with a clubbing right hand that put the bantamweight champion down the mat early in the opening round.

Cejudo swarmed on him with a barrage of punches, forcing referee Kevin McDonald to swoop in and stop the fight before Dillashaw took any further damage.

At the post fight press conference, an emotional Dillashaw protested the stoppage while claiming that he refuses to believe that he actually lost to Cejudo in his attempt to become a two-division UFC champion.

“It sucks to have it stolen from you,” Dillashaw said. “I worked my butt off. I’m so much better than that and it’d be nice to actually get the chance to show it. It’s a title fight. It’s a champ vs. champ fight and you’re going to stop the fight like that? I’m in on a single leg. He said ‘show me something’, I said ‘I’m OK’. I’m on a single leg in a scramble, he stops punching he’s defending a single leg and you’re going to stop the fight? It’s just ridiculous.

“It’s pretty pathetic that I have better knowledge than that ref. If I’m going to lose, I want to lose. I want to lose if I’m going to lose. Congratulations Henry Cejudo, awesome, great, awesome job but you did not win. You did not win this fight. I am happy to accept defeat but I did not lose.”

For his part, UFC president Dana White agreed with Dillashaw on the stoppage but he still gave Cejudo credit for a job well done.

“I thought it was an early stoppage, too,” White said. “You’ve got two of the best guys in the world, two world champions in a super fight. Let them fight. Let them finish. I’m not taking anything away from Cejudo cause the fight went 20 seconds and Cejudo busted him up. I’m sure when you saw him sitting here, he looks like was in a three round fight but Jesus Christ, let them fight. Horrible stoppage.”TJ Dillashaw UFC 227 Media Day

Obviously, Cejudo disagreed with both Dillashaw and White on their assessment about the end of the fight and the referee’s stoppage.

Cejudo claims that he felt Dillashaw go completely limp after the last punch that he landed before the referee stepped into between them to call an end to the contest.

The reigning 125-pound king believes things would have only gotten worse for Dillashaw if the fight was allowed to continue.

“It was a great stoppage. I felt his body go limp,” Cejudo said. “I went in at 146 pounds when I fought him, strong. Every blow that he took, he was eating some hammers. Personally, I thought it was a good stoppage because he was going to take another 10, 20 hits. Your body goes limp like that, you cut weight like that, thinking you’re going to go out there and take my belt from me, that’s not the way it works. I think it was a great stoppage.

“If I was to talk to that ref, you’re OK, we were both in there. We saw him go limp a few times. Watch it again. You’ll see it.”

While the future of the flyweight division remains in question as White wouldn’t commit to what would happen next at 125 pounds, it was clear that Dillashaw felt like he had unfinished business in the weight class.

“This s—t needs to happen again at flyweight,” Dillashaw said while asking for a rematch with Cejudo. “This is bulls—t. I worked my ass off for 12 weeks to get here to have it stolen from me in 30 seconds.”

Cejudo said he may be open to a rematch against Dillashaw at flyweight but obviously he would prefer going up to 135 pounds to challenge for the bantamweight title instead.

White wasn’t ready to play matchmaker in any way, shape or form on Saturday night despite the way he felt about the end of the main event.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do,” White stated.

UFC Brooklyn Bonuses: Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone Cashes In

Donald Cerrone UFC Singapore Preview

The UFC's debut on ESPN+ and ESPN is in the books. During the event's post-fight press conference following Saturday's fight card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, UFC president Dana White announced the recipients of the fighter bonuses. Henry Cejudo, Donald Cerrone and Alex Hernandez took home the performance-based incentives.

Fight of the Night was awarded to Cerrone in Hernandez for their lightweight bout that headlined the preliminary card that aired on ESPN. Hernandez came out aggressively after talking a good amount of smack leading up to the fight, but Cerrone stayed poised. Cerrone found his range late in the opening round and started to inflict damage with knees and punches.

TRENDING > UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw (Full Results and Live Fight Stats)

In the second frame, Hernandez took the fight to Cerrone once again. Cerrone delivered kicks and knees to the body before firing off a right high kick to the head. It partially landed and put Hernandez on wobbly legs. Cerrone finished seconds later with a series of punches on the ground. The fight earned the two Fight of the Night honors and banked Cerrone a Performance of the Night bonus for the finish.

Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo earned a Performance of the Night bonus for his 32-second stoppage of bantamweight titleholder TJ Dillashaw in the fight card's main event.  Dillashaw dropped down to the 125-pound division to challenge for the belt.  Cejudo ended those hopes with a right hand and a barrage of strikes to retain his title.   

UFC’s First ESPN+ Event Draws Solid Gate and Attendance

Barclays Center - Brooklyn

The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its official ESPN debut on Saturday with UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw

Headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight between flyweight titleholder Henry Cejudo and bantamweight champ TJ Dillashaw, the event was a solid draw for the mixed martial arts juggernaut's opening performance in partnership with The Worldwide Leader in Sports.

UFC on ESPN+ 1 took place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., where 12,152 showed up for what could still be the final title fight in the 125-pound division. UFC president Dana White still had no answer about the flyweight division's future at the post fight press conference.

Even headlined by a division that is notorious for its lack of drawing power, the crowd that turned out for the flyweight title fight amassed gate receipts of $1.23 million.

If the flyweight division fades into oblivion following the event in Brooklyn, it won't have been for a lack of its fighters trying feverishly to save it.

Cejudo ignited the arena with a stunning performance in the main event. Not only did he keep Dillashaw from becoming the first UFC fight to go down a weight class and become a two-division simultaneous champion, he did so in 32 seconds.

Though there was some questioning of the main event being stopped early, there was no doubt that Cejudo rocked Dillashaw from the bell and was laying into him as the fight was stopped.

TRENDING > Cowboy Cerrone Calls Out Conor McGregor, Who Quickly Responds

In a second flyweight bout on the card, perennial contender Joseph Benavidez had a hard-fought rematch with Dustin Ortiz. He couldn't find the finish, but after a back-and-forth battle, Benavidez walked away with a unanimous decision victory over Ortiz.

White is still left to ponder whether or not the UFC flyweight division has a future, but now that the ESPN era has launched, he can get back to the business of figuring it out. 

Khabib, Conor McGregor, Others React to Henry Cejudo’s Stunning 32-Second Finish of TJ Dillashaw

Flyweight champion Henry Cejudo overwhelmed bantamweight titleholder TJ Dillashaw in the UFC on ESPN+ 1 main event on Saturday.

The Olympic Gold Medalist hurt Dillashaw with a right hand and never took his foot off the gas. He swarmed Dillashaw, who had dropped down a weight class to challenge for the belt, and finished with a series of punches on the ground.

Following Cejudo's 125-pound title defense, fighters reacted to the stunning 32-second finish on social media.

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Henry Cejudo Stops TJ Dillashaw in Short Order (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Henry Cejudo UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Henry Cejudo's lightning-quick knockout of TJ Dillashaw at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw Post-Fight Press Conference Video

(Courtesy of UFC) Watch the UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw Post-Fight Press Conference streaming live from Brooklyn, N.Y., following Saturday night's fight. TRENDING > Greg Hardy Disqualified in UFC Debut After Illegal Knee Several of the key fighters from the UFC's debut live event in the ESPN era take to the mic to field questions from the media.

Greg Hardy’s Debut Goes Down in Flames (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Allen Crowder's disqualification win over Greg Hardy at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Henry Cejudo TKO’s TJ Dillashaw in Just 32 Seconds in First UFC on ESPN Main Event

‘The Messenger’ delivered as promised in the first ever UFC on ESPN main event.

On Saturday night in Brooklyn, Henry Cejudo defended his flyweight championship with a  stunning TKO at just 32 seconds into the opening round to put away bantamweight king TJ Dillashaw.

In the lead up to the fight, Cejudo spoke often about fighting for the flyweight division amidst rumors that the UFC was possibly going to get rid of the weight class after this event ended.

Dillashaw even said rather candidly that he was being paid to go down to 125 pounds and kill off the flyweight division while becoming a two division champion.

Those plans — real or fictional — came crashing down early in the first round after Cejudo and Dillashaw both came out guns blazing as soon as the fight got started.

While Cejudo isn’t known as a knockout artist, he was definitely looking for a striking attack as he was throwing heavy combinations seconds into the first round with Dillashaw trying to counter the 2008 Olympic gold medalist.

After a furious start, Cejudo managed to clip Dillashaw with one of his rapid fire punches followed by a perfectly timed head kick that connected and he knew immediately that the bantamweight champion was in trouble.

Cejudo quickly followed up with a lightning quick barrage of strikes including a right hand that blasted Dillashaw just behind the ear and sent him crashing down to the canvas.

With his opponent hurt, Cejudo went for the kill with a barrage of punches that forced the referee to rush in and stop the fight before Dillashaw took anymore damage.

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To his credit, Dillashaw was quick to his feet to protest the stoppage but he was definitely eating a lot of shots leading up to the end of the fight.

Either way, the fight was over and Cejudo celebrated his victory with a 32 second TKO against Dillashaw in the champion versus champion showdown in Brooklyn.

“I’ve busted my butt my whole life. I was able to beat one of the greatest of all time. It’s surreal,” Cejudo said after the win. “I knew he was hurt. I caught him with that head kick and felt him wobble. The rest was history.”

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After such an emphatic victory, Cejudo was quick to defend the future of the flyweight division with hopes of saving the weight class after a statement win against Dillashaw on Saturday night.

That said, Cejudo was also more than happy to offer Dillashaw a rematch — this time at 135 pounds with the bantamweight championship on the line.

“TJ, we can do it again,” Cejudo shouted. “This time we’ll do it at 135 pounds. I’ll give you another shot at 135 pounds.”

Dillashaw obviously seemed more than happy to accept that challenge while still protesting the results of his failed attempt to become a two-weight world champion in the UFC.

“I did get clipped with a right hand behind the ear as I threw my own. You could feel it, but I’m there the entire time,” Dillashaw said following the loss. “It sucks when something’s taken from you, not when you’re actually beat. I would love to get beat. Congrats to Henry Cejudo, good job, but you didn’t beat me.”

Now the question remains about the future of the flyweight division, especially with Cejudo’s willingness to go up to 135 pounds following his win over Dillashaw. UFC president Dana White was non-committal all week long when asked about what would happen to the 125-pound weight class after Saturday was over but Cejudo definitely did his part to prove the flyweights belong inside the Octagon.

Gregor Gillespie Thrashes Yancy Medeiros (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Gregor Gillespie UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Gregor Gillespie's domination of Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Greg Hardy Disqualified in UFC Debut After Illegal Knee

Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy made his Octagon debut on Saturday in the UFC Brooklyn co-main event against Allen Crowder. After putting together three knockout wins in his first three mixed martial arts fights, Hardy hoped to insert himself in the UFC heavyweight landscape.

Greg Hardy - 2nd DWTNCS WinThe 30-year old turned to fighting after a checkered past that includes domestic violence charges and drug possession. He appeared twice on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series and impressed witch his speed and knockout power.

On Saturday, Crowder put the former NFL player in unfamiliar territory inside the cage. He took Hardy down after catching a knee to the body in the opening round. He controlled Hardy on the ground. He advanced to side control and moved to the crucifix position forcing Hardy to roll. Hardy got back to his feet but found himself having to escape a guillotine choke.

RELATED > UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw (Full Results and Live Fight Stats)

In the second frame, Crowder taunted Hardy after taking some punches in the early going to the round. He rushed forward with a flurry of punches and quickly looked to get Hardy back to the ground. Hardy sprawled and defended the takedown attempt. While Crowder was grounded, Hardy delivered an illegal knee that landed on the side of Crowder's head. Crowder fell over to his back and the referee immediately stepped in.

The illegal strike rendered Crowder unable to continue and Hardy was disqualified.  Hardy not only suffered the first loss of his young fighting career, he'll now face the court of public opinion again.  Whether the illegal knee was a product of inexperience of intentional only Hardy knows.  

Joseph Benavidez Takes the Nod in Tough Rematch with Dustin Ortiz (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Joseph Benavidez's unanimous decision victory over Dustin Ortiz at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Gregor Gillespie Routes Yancy Medeiros at UFC Brooklyn to Remain Unbeaten

Gregor Gillespie kept his spotless record intact, thoroughly thrashing Yancy Medeiros at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw on Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y. 

Gillespie has set the UFC lightweight division on fire by putting his wrestling pedigree to work, having been a four-time All-American in the NCAA Division I, as well as a national champion.

Gillespie didn’t try to go against what was expected. He came out from the opening bell shooting the takedown and was immediately successful. 

Though Medeiros continuously scrambled and regained his feet, he couldn’t break free of Gillespie’s clutches. When the NCAA Division I wrestling champion wasn’t riding Medeiros on the ground, he was pressing him up against the cage and driving knees into his thighs and ribs. 

Gillespie had to stand for a few moments again at the beginning of round two, but quickly returned to his bread and butter, putting Medeiros back on the canvas. When he did, it was really the beginning of the end for the Hawaiian.

“I hate to talk about Yancy like that because he’s such a nice guy, but he was softening up,” Gillespie said after the fight.

“I knew I would soften him up. I knew he couldn’t do that pace for three rounds. And I did it in two.”

After putting him down at the beginning of round two, Gillespie got better positioning than he did in round one and worked his way to full mount. He worked Medeiros over with ground and pound, the Hawaiian flipping to his stomach and eventually regaining his feet, but unable to shirk Gillespie’s grip.

TRENDING > Cowboy Cerrone Calls Out Conor McGregor Following TKO Win, McGregor Quickly Responds

Again Gillespie rocked Medeiros with driving knees to the body before dragging him back to the canvas and moving to back mount. Gillespie unloaded with shot after shot, eventually forcing the referee to step in and stop the fight with one tick left on the clock.

The TKO stoppage at 4:59 of the second frame was Gillespie’s most impressive MMA victory to date, but he plans to continue moving up the UFC lightweight ranks. 

“I promise, we’ll work our way up the ladder on the next one. That’s the best I can do on a callout.”

Gillespie’s MMA record is mirroring his success in collegiate wrestling, as he improved to 13-0 with the victory over Medeiros, who slipped to 15-7 with one no contest.

Joseph Benavidez Edges Out Dustin Ortiz in Rematch, Calls for Flyweight Title Shot Next

Joseph Benavidez

Joseph Benavidez inched closer to a potential flyweight title shot while the future of the division remains very much in question.

The veteran 125-pound contender had a battle on his hands Saturday night in a rematch against Dustin Ortiz, but ultimately he got the job done with a unanimous decision after three rounds.

It had been more than four years since their first meeting and it was rather evident that Ortiz had learned a lot from his first experience in the cage with Benavidez in 2015.

Ortiz looked much more comfortable in his exchanges with Benavidez but he still struggled to stifle the grappling and striking attacks from the multi-time title contender in both the UFC and WEC.

Benavidez put the pressure on Ortiz early with a guillotine choke attempt before landing a huge right hand that put his opponent down on the canvas. Benavidez quickly followed up with a flurry on the mat while attempting to get the finish but Ortiz did a good job maintaining his composure and surviving the round.

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The second stanza saw a stronger attack from Ortiz as he looked looser on his feet and really started to work his combinations while Benavidez was content to look for counters.

The fight eventually hit the floor after a huge takedown from Ortiz, who then started to look for the rear naked choke but Benavidez defended well to stave off the submission attempt.

The third and final round saw Benavidez regain control with a wrestling heavy attack as he began to out grapple Ortiz on the ground. Benavidez continued to press the action while Ortiz quickly scrambled out of bad positions but he was stuck playing defense and didn’t get much of an opportunity to mount his offence in return.

When the final horn sounded, Benavidez was confident he did enough to get the win, albeit in a serious war with Ortiz in the rematch. The judges agreed with all three scoring the fight 29-28 in favor of Benavidez, who earned his second straight win in a row.

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“I think any 15 minutes is hard with this guy,” Benavidez said about his rematch with Ortiz. “I knew I had improved but he improved, too. He’s on his way and it was a great win for me to pick up in the rematch.”

Following his latest win, Benavidez wasted no time calling for the winner of the flyweight title fight headlining the UFC card in Brooklyn on Saturday night.

“I want the winner of that title fight between [Henry] Cejudo and TJ [Dillashaw],” Benavidez said.

UFC president Dana White hasn’t committed to the future of the flyweight division with speculation running wild that the promotion may be getting rid of the 125-pound division after Saturday night’s event is finished.

For now, the flyweight division is still going and Benavidez isn’t going to give up hope on facing the winner of the main event as he looks to finally become a UFC champion.

Paige VanZant Returns with a Submission Victory (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Paige VanZant's successful return, as she submitted Rachael Ostovich at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Paige VanZant Taps Out Rachael Ostovich, Wants a Quick Return

Paige VanZant with arms raised in UFC victory

Flyweight Paige VanZant returned to the octagon on Saturday after being sidelined for more than a year due to a broken arm that required two surgeries to mend. "12 Gauge" faced Rachael Ostovich on the UFC Brooklyn main card and walked away with her third career submission win.

VanZant entered the bout coming off back-to-back losses and a long layoff. In the opening round, Ostovich was giving VanZant all she could handle. Ostovich secured an early takedown but was unable to inflict damage or improve her position. The referee sPaige VanZant UFC Post Interviewtood the fighters up but the fight quickly went back to the ground. Ostovich landed a hard right hand and took VanZant down a second time. At the end of the first frame, Ostovich had VanZant mounted and was working to set up an armbar.

VanZant walked into a right hand in the early going of the second round and Ostovich secured another takedown. VanZant scrambled out of the position and took Ostovich's back in the process. The 24-year old delivered a series of left hands. Ostovich tried to escape the position but VanZant locked on an armbar forcing the Hawaiian to tap out.

RELATED > UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw (Full Results and Live Fight Stats)

"I probably scared a few of you during the first round.  I obviously still have a lot to work on.  It was a difficult journey back only being able to train a short time with my arm," she said following the win. 

"God really likes to test me and I feel like I was tested that first round.  I know I have a lot to work on, but I'm back."

Ostovich overcame a lot to be on Saturday's fight card, and VanZant thanked her for taking the fight.  Ostovich was a victim of domestic violence in November and suffered serious injuries including a broken orbital bone.  When VanZant felt Ostovich tap out, she immediately let the submission go although the referee couldn't see the tap. 

"I did feel her tap, but the refs in the back say do not let go until we pull the person off of you.  She tapped on my hip.  I hear her arm pop a little.  Hopefully it's nothing serious.  I came back and she's going to come back strong too," VanZant said.  

The win was VanZant's first in the flyweight division.  Healthy and uninjured, she'd like to make a quick return and fight again next month.

"Everything feels great, so I'd like to be on that first live ESPN card in February.  Put me back in there," she said.  

Donald Cerrone Upends Upstart Alex Hernandez (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Donald Cerrone UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone's knockout finish of rising lightweight Alex Hernandez at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Cowboy Cerrone Calls Out Conor McGregor Following TKO Win, McGregor Quickly Responds

Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone earned a TKO win in his first fight back at lightweight since 2015 and now he may be headed for a showdown against the biggest superstar in the sport.

On Saturday night in Brooklyn, Cerrone headlined the first UFC card aired on ESPN while facing hungry young lightweight contender Alexander Hernandez, who came into the fight after back-to-back wins to start his career with the organization.

Youth and vigor got Hernandez his first two wins in the UFC but this time around he went up against a cagey veteran in Cerrone, who showed that the old dog still had a few new tricks to show off in his 30th fight inside the Octagon.

A notoriously slow starter, Cerrone had to eat a few punches early from Hernandez before he started firing back in succession and doing a lot of damage to the confident lightweight contender.

While Hernandez was the aggressor, it was Cerrone who started to land with precision and power with several of his punches snapping his opponent’s head back with a lot of force behind every combination.

With each passing minute, Cerrone gained more and more confidence with his shots doing a lot of damage with a series of cuts opening up on Hernandez’s face. Despite eating a lot of punches and knees from Cerrone, Hernandez was still managing to move forward but he was definitely getting the worst of the exchanges.

As the second round got underway, Hernandez was right back in Cerrone’s face trying to overwhelm the veteran with a pressure filled game plan but his defense was doing him no favors as he was constantly eating punches when he stepped forward.

Cerrone’s relentless attack was non-stop as he was constantly throwing combinations and if his first punch didn’t land, he’d end up popping Hernandez with one of the next three or four strikes he’d launch at him.

The barrage of punishing shots just started to weather away at Hernandez’s defense and with each passing second, Cerrone got that much closer to a finish.

Finally with Hernandez reeling, Cerrone uncorked a massive head kick that blasted the upstart lightweight and sent him crashing to the ground. Cerrone immediately followed up with a huge flurry of punches and elbows that forced the referee to rush in and prevent Hernandez from absorbing any more damage.

The official TKO stoppage came at 3:43 into the second round.

Cerrone said following his last fight that he was returning to the lightweight division with the ultimate goal to finally become UFC champion and he knows exactly the path it will take to get there.

TRENDING > Donald Cerrone Upends Upstart Alex Hernandez (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

“The old man’s still got it,” Cerrone said after his latest win. “I want top five. I even want Conor [McGregor] if he’ll agree to it. Cowboy’s back. I’m on a roll baby, here I come.”

Just minutes after Cerrone made the call out, McGregor answered back with a message of his own on Twitter accepting the challenge from the fighter with the most wins in UFC history.

“For a fight like that Donald, I’ll fight you,” McGregor said. “Congratulations.”

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McGregor hasn’t fought since losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov last October but it appears he’s ready to book his next fight even if he’s not going to get another shot at the championship.

It remains to be seen if the UFC will book it, but it definitely appears ‘Cowboy’ got McGregor’s attention for a potential showdown in 2019.

Joanne Calderwood Routes Ariane Lipski (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

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Check out the highlights from Joanne Calderwood's decision win over Ariane Lipski at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. When all was said and done, Calderwood had earned the nod with scores of 30-26, 30-26, and 30-27 from the judges.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Alonzo Menifield Steamrolls Vinicius Moreira (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Alonzo Menifield UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Alonzo Menifield's quick finish of Vinicius Moreira at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Cory Sandhagen Scores First-Round Submission on ESPN (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Cory Sandhagen UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Cory Sandhagen's first-round submission over Mario Bautista at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Dennis Bermudez Gets the Win then Retires in the Octagon (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Dennis Bermudez's final fight, as he defeated Te Edwards at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Geoff Neal Takes the Nod After Hard Bout (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Geoff Neal's decision victory over Belal Muhammad at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

Chance Recountre Opens ESPN Era with a Quick Finish (UFC Brooklyn Highlights)

Chance Recountre UFC Brooklyn Highlights

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(Video courtesy of UFC/ESPN | Viewing may be limited by broadcast rights restrictions)

Check out the highlights from Chance Recountre's quick finish of Kyle Stewart at UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

RELATED:

UFC Fight Night: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw marked the Ultimate Fighting Championship's entrance into the ESPN era. Following an event headlined by a champion vs. champion superfight, the UFC has a week off courtesy of the cancellation of UFC 233, and will re-emerge with is second live event on ESPN+ during Super Bowl weekend.

The fight promotion returns to Fortaleza, Brazil, on Feb. 2 where a pivotal bantamweight bout between Raphael Assuncao and Marlon Moraes headlines UFC on ESPN+ 2 and Jose Aldo vs. Renato Moicano takes the co-main event slot.

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