You were wrong if you thought UFC on ESPN 1 was going to go down without a hitch, as a women’s strawweight clash between Jessica Penne and Jodie Esquibel has been removed from the ESPN+ undercard.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani broke the news just moments ago:
Tonight’s Jodie Esquibel vs. Jessica Penne fight has been canceled, according to multiple sources. Penne missed weight yesterday by two pounds, but it is unclear at this time if the fight was removed from the card due to that reason.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 17, 2019
Awaiting confirmation if the fight cancelation had anything to do with Penne missing weight. Sources say she withdrew this AM. Esquibel was good to go.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 17, 2019
Penne, who was looking to end a three-fight losing streak inside of the Octagon, missed weight by two pounds during yesterday’s early weigh ins (full results here). Her strawweight tilt with Esquibel was then made into a 118-pound catchweight bout.
Now, with hour lefts before fight time, the strawweight bout has been completely scrapped from the card. Helwani’s sources say Penne withdrew herself earlier this morning. The reason is unknown at this time. It’s bad news for both women, but especially Esquibel, who did her part to show up yesterday on weight and ready to fight.
The fight cancellation could also have a direct effect on Kron Gracie’s Octagon debut on the ESPN main card.
IF the UFC keeps the same lineup in tact, that means Gracie v Caceres will no longer be the 5,000th fight in UFC history. No confirmation on if they’ll move things around to preserve that factoid yet.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 17, 2019
With Penne vs. Esquibel now off the “Prelims” undercard, the event will roll on with 12 total bouts and have an updated official start time of 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT.
UFC on ESPN 1 will go down later tonight (Sun., Feb. 17, 2019) from inside Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and feature a heavyweight main event between former champion Cain Velasquez and knockout artist Francis Ngannou.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 1 fight card on fight night (click here), starting with the ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET, before the ESPN main card start time at 9 p.m. ET.
For much more on UFC on ESPN click here.