Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is hoping to sort through some of its 135-pound clutter by sending top-ranked bantamweight contenders, Jimmie Rivera and Aljamain Sterling, into battle at the upcoming UFC on ESPN 1 card, scheduled for Feb. 17, 2019 inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona.
That’s according to a report from Greg Moore at AZCentral.com.
Rivera (22-2) watched his title shot go up in smoke when Marlon Moraes put him out to pasture at UFC Utica back in June. Undaunted, “El Terror” rebounded with a unanimous decision win over John Dodson at UFC 228 back in September and currently stands at No. 5 in the official rankings.
That’s two spots ahead of the No. 7-ranked Sterling (16-3), who also got starched by Moraes when they went to war at UFC Fresno last December. And, like Rivera, “Funkmaster” got back into the win column his next time out, then took it one step further by submitting Cody Stamann at UFC 228.
UFC on ESPN 1 does not have a main event as of this writing, but is also expected to feature preliminary bouts on the ESPN+ digital network, similar to how FOX and FOX Sports 1 shared fight cards during its UFC broadcasting deal.