Las Vegas – A world title will be on the line in Boston on Sunday, January 17 at TD Garden when UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw seeks to successfully defend his crown for the third time against former WEC® and UFC® bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz. UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: DILLASHAW vs. CRUZ marks the second championship fight to air on FS1.
Continuing with the tradition of bringing great events to Beantown, Dillashaw (13-2, fighting out of Denver, Colo.) looks to prove he is the undisputed champ of the 135-pound division. With three finishes in as many title bouts, Dillashaw has made his way to the No. 5 spot on the pound-for-pound list. Looking to derail Dillashaw’s momentum is former champion and rival Cruz (20-1, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.). The inaugural UFC 135-pound king was forced to vacate the title in 2014 after multiple injuries left him unable to compete. Now hungrier than ever, Cruz has his eyes set on regaining the title he never lost in the Octagon.
In the co-main event, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (18-3, fighting out of Milwaukee, Wisc.) meets No. 4 Eddie Alvarez . Pettis, the No. 1 contender in the 155-pound division, is one of the flashiest strikers in the sport and no doubt has redemption on his mind as he looks to secure another shot at the lightweight title with an impressive win over Alvarez. Meanwhile, Alvarez is the epitome of a Philly-born fighter, and he will have gold on his mind in Boston, as well.
Plus, fifth-ranked Travis Browne (17-3-1, fighting out of San Diego, Calif.) and No. 13 Matt Mitrione (9-4, fighting out of Boca Raton, Fla.) clash in a heavyweight showdown. At 6’7” and 255-pounds, Browne is one of the most physically imposing fighters in the sport and packs a punch to match his size. To counter the power of the Hawaiian, Mitrione will look to his athleticism and equally heavy hands as he looks to crack the top 10 of the division with a win.
Additional bouts include:
· A classic grappler versus striker matchup as heavy-handed Tim Boetsch (18-9, fighting out of Sunbury, Penn.) meets submission ace Ed Herman (23-11, 1NC, fighting out of Fort Collins, Colo.) in a light heavyweight bout.
· Lightweight striking sensations Paul Felder (10-2, fighting out of Philadelphia, Penn) and Daron Cruickshank (16-7, 1 NC, fighting out of Detroit, Mich.) collide in an early Fight of the Night contender.
· Looking for his sixth consecutive win inside the Octagon, Beneil Dariush (12-1, fighting out of Yorba Linda, Calif.) takes on hard-hitting lightweight Mairbek Taisumov (24-5, fighting out of Vienna, Austria), a winner of three straight.
· Boston’s own Charles Rosa (10-2, fighting out of Coconut Creek, Fla.) takes on the always dangerous Jimy Hettes (11-3, fighting out of Swoyersville, Penn.) who has 10 submission victories to his name, in a featherweight showdown.
For the latest information on additional bouts for this event, please visit www.ufc.com. All bouts live and subject to change.
UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: DILLASHAW vs. CRUZ will air live on FS1 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Sunday, January 17, with the prelims kicking off the evening on FS1 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT and on UFC FIGHT PASS® at 5:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT.