UFC Vegas 69 has a new headliner.
The previously booked flyweight bout on Feb. 18 between Taila Santos and Erin Blanchfield has been elevated to a five-round main event, the UFC announced Friday. The news comes after UFC Vegas 69’s original main event, Cory Sandhagen vs. Marlon Vera, was rescheduled to headline the UFC’s March 25 event in San Antonio.
Santos vs. Blanchfield is a pivotal bout for the women’s 125-pound division. The winner will likely put themselves in pole position to challenge for a UFC title shot.
Santos (19-2) is currently MMA Fighting’s No. 3 ranked flyweight in the world. She nearly made history in her most recent bout when she came within a hair’s breadth of upsetting UFC flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko. The 29-year-old Brazilian rode a four-fight win streak into the bout, which included victories over Joanne Wood and Molly McCann.
Blanchfield (10-1), MMA Fighting’s No. 9 ranked flyweight, is widely considered to be one of the top prospects in all of women’s MMA. She is a perfect 4-0 in the UFC and has dominated her competition, most recently scoring a first-round finish of McCann.
UFC Vegas 69 takes place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.