Two matchups have been added to the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s first pay-per-view of 2019.
The Las Vegas-based promotion announced Tuesday that a lightweight showdown between James Vick and Paul Felder — originally scheduled for UFC Fight Night 133 — has been rebooked for UFC 233, while UFC 229 brawl participant Islam Makhachev will remain on the roster to face Francisco Trinaldo in another lightweight tilt.
UFC 233 takes place at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Jan. 26 and features the Octagon debut of Ben Askren, as he takes on former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler.
Instead of facing Felder in July, Vick was moved to a headlining bout vs. Justin Gaethje at UFC Fight Night 135. “The Texecutioner” was knocked out in the opening stanza to halt a four-fight winning streak.
Felder, meanwhile, ended up moving to 170 pounds to face Mike Perry at UFC 226, where he dropped a split decision in a brutal back-and-forth affair. That snapped a three-fight winning streak for “The Irish Dragon,” who had finished Charles Oliveira, Steven Ray and Alessandro Ricci in succession.
Makhachev was one of those from Khabib Nurmagomedov’s corner involved in the post-fight brawl with Conor McGregor and his team at UFC 229. UFC President Dana White vowed that those from Nurmagomedov’s team would not step inside the Octagon again, but that appears not to be the case with Makhachev. The 27-year-old Dagestani is 16-1 as a professional and 5-1 in the UFC.
After compiling a seven-fight winning streak from 2014 to 2017, Trinaldo has gone 2-2 in his last four Octagon appearances. Most recently, the 40-year-old Brazilian knocked out Evan Dunham with a knee to the body at UFC Fight Night 137.