The UFC will be making the move to ESPN in 2019, and the first event on the streaming service ESPN+ will be UFC Brooklyn, featuring a fight between Paige VanZant and Rachael Ostovich.
Paige VanZant has been a favorite of the UFC since joining in 2014. Following her Fight of the Night debut, PVZ has been featured on the main card (three on FOX) in all six of her fights, including two main events. With that being said, it is fitting that she is a member of the first fight announced for the ESPN era.
In the Octagon, however, VanZant has struggled recently. She fell in a main event bout to Michelle Waterson in December 2016, then suffered a multitude of injuries that kept her out of action until January of this year. In that fight, which was her flyweight debut, VanZant lost a decision to Jessica Rose-Clark, breaking her arm in the process.
VanZant will face Ultimate Fighter and Invicta FC veteran Rachael Ostovich. Ostovich has alternated wins and losses in her last eight fights, including her TUF stint. On the reality show, she defeated Melinda Fabian by armbar before falling to longtime veteran Barb Honchak. Ostovich went on to make a statement in her promotional debut, winning by first-round armbar. She was unable to string together a win streak, falling to Montana De La Rosa by submission in her last appearance.
Newsday also reported a welterweight bout between Geoff Neal and Belal Muhammad has been added to UFC Brooklyn. Neal has been stellar since winning by first-round KO in the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series, submitting Brian Camozzi in the first round, then scoring an incredible head kick knockout against Frank Camacho in September. Muhammad comes in on a four-fight win streak with a 5-2 record in the Octagon.
The first UFC event of the ESPN era will take place on January 19 inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The two fights above are the only ones linked to the card thus far.