After a bantamweight clash between Marlon Vera and Cory Sandhagen was moved to UFC San Antonio this March a women’s flyweight clash between top contenders Taila Santos and Erin Blanchfield has been promoted to the new main event for UFC Vegas 69 on Feb. 18 live on ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The news was confirmed by UFC officials on Friday.
Flyweights takes the top spot on the marquee!— UFC (@ufc) February 3, 2023
Taila Santos vs @Blanchfield_MMA happens Saturday, Feb 18! #UFCVegas69 pic.twitter.com/TcmhPSrV7i
The UFC Vegas 69 card was originally expected to be headlined by the aforementioned matchup between “Chito” Vera and Sandhagen. However, after fight fans called for the bantamweight scrap to go down in front of a live audience the promotion decided to make a switch. Vera vs. Sandhagen is now being moved to UFC San Antonio on Mar. 25 which clears a path for Santos and Blanchfield to make their UFC main event debuts later this month.
Santos, 29, is coming off an ultra-competitive decision loss to reigning UFC women’s flyweight champion and pound-for-pound standout Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 275 back in June 2022. Despite the loss snapping a four-fight win streak for Santos her performance helped shed some light on her overall potential. She nearly defeated one of the best female fighters of all time just six fights into her UFC career. A victory over Blanchfield two weeks from now could very well lead to another title shot for Santos this summer.
Blanchfield, 23, has looked tremendous since making her UFC debut back in 2021. The young contender has compiled a perfect 4-0 record including back-to-back submission finishes over veteran fighters Molly McCann and JJ Aldrich (watch HERE). Blanchfield has been groomed as the next big thing at 125 pounds and now she’ll get her chance to prove it. Another dominant performance over a proven title challenger like Santos would almost certainly result in Blanchfield’s own title shot against Shevchenko.
What do you think, Maniacs? With Vera vs. Sandhagen off UFC Vegas 69 is this matchup a suitable replacement?