Three big fights have been announced for UFC On FOX 16 which takes place in Chicago on July 25th in the shape of TJ Dillashaw Vs Renan Barao II, Anthony Pettis Vs Myles Jury and Miesha Tate Vs Jessica Eye.
TJ Dillashaw and Renan Barao which will serve as the main event of the evening in a bantamweight title rematch.
The two men first fought in May of last year where Dillashaw produced a major upset victory, controlling the action from start to a fifth round TKO finish to end Barao’s exceptional unbeaten run which dated all the way back to 2005.
Plans to put on Dillashaw Vs Barao II have so far been repeatedly struck down, with UFC 177 in August of 2014 being the original date set, but that fell through when Barao passed out on the day of the weigh-ins. Next up they were slated for this months UFC 186 event, but a broken rib to the current champion resulted in the fight being postponed again.
Hopefully that jinx is now behind them and the good news for fans is that they now get to see the fight on free TV on ‘big’ FOX, the first time we’ve seen a title on the line on the channel since flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his belt against Joseph Benavidez at UFC On FOX 9 in 2013.
There will be more star power on the upcoming UFC On FOX 16 event though with former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis set to start back on the road to another title shot against Myles Jury.
In a similar fashion to Barao above, Pettis lost his title after coming off second best in convincing fashion against Rafael dos Anjos last month at UFC 185.
Prior to that ‘Showtime’ had been on a five fight winning streak and had defeated Ben Henderson to win the title before successfully defending it against Gilbert Melendez.
In Jury he’s facing another lightweight who’s looking to regroup after a recent loss. In his case that came against Donald Cerrone back in January at UFC 183 and it ended an unbeaten 15-0 run in his MMA career which included six victories in the Octagon.
Despite his loss Pettis remains as the lightweight division’s No.1 contender, while Jury is currently ranked at No.8.
The third main card bout announced for UFC On FOX 16 sees two woman’s bantamweight fighters Miesha Tate and Jessica Eye squaring up with a title shot expected to be on the line for the winner.
Tate has become a permanent fixture in the top end of the divisional rankings, currently sitting at No.2 after recording three wins in a row, most recently against Sara McMann in January.
Undisputed champion Ronda Rousey has proven to be her nemsis though, defeating her both in Strikeforce and the UFC. However, a win at UFC On FOX 16 now looks likely to offer up a third opportunity to defeat her biggest rival.
Eye will have other plans though and as the only fighter in the top 8 rankings to so far not have faced Rousey she’s eager to test her skills against the dominant force in the division.
Eye’s recent record isn’t overly impressive – she defeated former Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman by controversial split decision in her UFC debut, but that was later amended to a no-contest ruling after she tested positive for marijuana. She then lost again by split decision to Alexis Davis, but has since rebounded with a slick display of striking against Leslie Smith, TKO’ing her after all but severing her ear off at UFC 180 in November last year.