The much-anticipated return of Dominick Cruz now has a date, as UFC president Dana White confirmed Cruz vs. T.J. Dillashaw for the bantamweight title in January.
White appeared on “UFC Tonight” Wednesday and stated the bout will serve as the main event for UFC Fight Night 81 on January 17 from Boston’s TD Garden. Earlier this year, Conor McGregor delivered record-breaking ratings to FOX Sports 1 – which will also air the Dillashaw-Cruz fight – after FOX televised the NFC Championship game.
Once again, the NFC playoffs will serve as a lead-in for the event on FS1. It will be semifinal action, though, as the NFC Championship game is scheduled for the following weekend.
Dillashaw (12-2) is on a four-fight win streak that includes a pair of victories over Renan Barao. He won the belt from Barao, who was awarded the title while interim champion after the UFC stripped Cruz of the belt.
Cruz (20-1) has won each of his last 11, including wins over current UFC flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson, Urijah Faber and Takeya Mizugaki in his return. He has battled knee injuries and spent three years on the sidelines.