Taila Santos vs. Erin Blanchfield Elevated to Main Event of UFC Fight Night 219

Two top Ultimate Fighting Championship flyweight contenders will get their names on the marquee unexpectedly.

On Thursday night, news broke that Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen had been shifted to UFC on ESPN 43 in March, leaving UFC Fight Night 219 with no headliner. The anticipated co-main event of Taila Santos (19-2) vs. Erin Blanchfield (10-1) for that Feb. 18 event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas has been elevated to the headliner slot, with this announcement coming via the UFC on Friday. The two flyweights will now be fighting across five rounds instead of three atop the billing.

Santos suffered her first defeat in a few years when she came up just short against champ Valentina Shevchenko in June 2022 – in a fight that several media scorers scored the fight for Santos. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak, where she topped Molly McCann, Gillian Robertson, Roxanne Modafferi and Joanne Wood in the span of about 16 months. The Brazilian made her way to the promotion through the Brazilian season of Dana White's Contender Series, amassing a spotless record of 15-0 with 12 finishes before making her UFC debut.

Rising star Blanchfield surged into her 2021 promotional debut by competing in the Cage Fury Fighting Championships and Invicta Fighting Championships organizations, stringing together six wins opposite a single contentious defeat to future UFC talent Tracy Cortez. “Cold Blooded” lumped up Sarah Alpar in 2021, and came back less than two months later to beat Miranda Maverick. Her 2022 campaign went even better, as she tapped J.J. Aldrich and McCann to claim a place among the elite of the flyweight division.

UFC Fight Night 219 will carry on at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on March 19, with its aforementioned Santos-Blanchfield headliner in tow. The new co-main attraction will presumably be a light heavyweight collision between Ovince St. Preux and Philipe Lins. Other matches featured on the main card include a lightweight scrap pitting Jim Miller against Gabriel Benitez, a bantamweight battle between Mayra Bueno Silva and Lina Lansberg and a 205-pound encounter of William Knight vs. Marcin Prachnio.

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