A double-whammy of featherweight and bantamweight title fight action is set to headline UFC 169 on February 1st.
Topping the bill on Super Bowl weekend will be 145lb kingpin Jose Aldo who’ll attempt to make another successful defence of his belt against Ricardo Lamas who finally gets his chance to fight for the strap after compiling a four-fight winning streak since joining the promotion.
That’s a good fight, but it’s liekly the evening’s other title bout may attract even more attention given that it’s set to feature the long awaited return of bantamweight champ Dominick Cruz after a two year battle back to fitness after a career-threatening ACL injury.
A lot’s changed at 135lbs in Cruz’s absence with interim champion Renan Barao now the dominant force in the division with a perfect 6-0 record in the UFC to date.
With that in mind it’s an exceptionally tough task for the ‘The Dominator’ to immediately head into arguably the toughest fight of his career after such a long layoff and multiple surgeries.
It’s a smart decision by the UFC to pair these two title fights together as realistically, given the numerous problems he’s already experienced, there’s always a possibility that Cruz may face yet another injury setback before we get to February, so it’d be unwise to have this title unification bout headline an important show like this on it’s own.
Also slated for the UFC 159 event is a heavyweight fight between Alistair Overeem and Frank Mir.
Both of these stars have struggled to find form in the UFC of late and despite their stature in the sport that’s lead to UFC president Dana White indicating that this is essentially a ‘loser leaves town’ match-up.
UFC 169 will air live on pay-per-view with the prelims airing on FOX Sports 1 as part of their Super Bowl weekend festivities in New Jersey.