Joseph Benavidez will now fight Dustin Ortiz at UFC On ESPN+ 1 on January 19th in Brooklyn, New York City.
Last week the UFC selected Benavidez to serve as an alternate at the event in case either headliners TJ Dillashaw or Henry Cejudo got injured in the lead-up to the fight, but it seems he was still eager to have a fight in case his services were not required, and so he’s now been given Ortiz as an opponent.
Benavidez is coming off a first round TKO victory over Alex Perez back in late November, which followed on from his first loss in four years when he dropped a split decision verdict against Sergio Pettis a few months earlier in June.
Prior to that Benavidez had racked up six wins in a row, including a split decision victory over the current flyweight champ Cejudo.
Ortiz was actually also a victim during Benavidez’s winning streak, losing out by unanimous decision, but since then Ortiz has compiled a 5-3 record and is currently on a three-fight unbeaten stretch.
Benavidez Vs Ortiz joins a UFC On ESPN+ 1 card that will be headlined by the aforementioned superfight between flyweight champion Cejudo and bantamweight kingpin Dillashaw, while Paige VanZant fights Rachael Ostovich and Donald Cerrone goes up against Alexander Hernandez.