Two notable fights have been chalked up for UFC 219 in Las Vegas on December 30th, with former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz scheduled to face Jimmie Rivera, while former strawweight titeholder Carla Esparza will go up against Cynthia Calvillo.
Cruz is coming off his first loss in thirteen fights, losing the 135lb title to Cody Garbrandt, who had produced a masterful display on the night to emerge with a unanimous decision victory.
Prior to that Cruz had made a remarkable comeback from career-threatening injuries that had left him with only one fight in the previous four years, showing few signs of ring rust last year as he reclaimed his title with a split decision win over TJ Dillashaw and then defeated his long-time rival Urijah Faber in a trilogy fight.
Exactly a year after his loss to Garbrandt, Cruz now returns to face Rivera, who has amassed an impressive 21-1 record over the course of his career, including his current five-fight unbeaten run in the UFC that’s included victories over the likes of Iuri Alcantara, Urijah Faber and most recently Thomas Almeida.
In the other newly announced match-up, the ex-115lb champ Esparza will look to build on a June win over Maryna Moroz when she faces up to the division’s newest rising prospect, Calvillo.
Alreaddy hailed as a future star by Dana White, Calvillo has already amassed a 6-0 career run since turning pro in August of last year, and quickly stepping up to competing in the UFC hasn’t phased her one bit, compiling three victories in a row against Amanda Cooper, Pearl Gonzalez and Joanna Calderwood so far.
These two bouts join an end-of-year pay-per-view card that’s in it’s formative stages at the time of writing, with both the main and co-main events at the T-Mobile still to be announced.