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UFC 219: Calvillo vs. Esparza, Cruz vs. Rivera added

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Two former champions have been added to UFC 219 against a pair of younger lions eager to take their name and move up into the top-5 rankings.

Former bantamweight champion No.1 Dominick Cruz (22-2-0), 32, who reigned supreme at 135 pounds until injuries and Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207, will reload against No.3 Jimmie Rivera (21-1-0), 28, a man with a 20-fight win streak, including all five of his fights in the octagon.

Meanwhile, inaugural UFC female strawweight champion No.8 Carla Esparza (12-4-0) will try to stop the momentum of Team Alpha Male prodigy No.7 Cynthia Calvillo (6-0-0).

Esparza will be Calvillo’s biggest name opponent in the octagon since decisioning Joanne Calderwood at UFC Fight Night 113 in July.

Esparza, who lost the belt to current champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 185 in March 2015, bounced back from a split-decision loss to Randa Markos at UFC Fight Night 105 in February to decision Maryna Moroz a UFC Fight Night 112 in June.

UFC 219 is scheduled for Dec. 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. More bouts are expected to be announced.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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