Just a week out from the card, UFC Vegas 69 has undergone another change to its main event.
The Fight Night show scheduled for the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on February 18 was originally set to be headlined by Marlon Vera vs. Cory Sandhagen. With that fight shifting to UFC San Antonio in March, Taila Santos vs. Erin Blanchfield, a key women’s flyweight fight, was promoted to the top of the marquee, with two extra rounds added to cement its main event status.
Santos, however, is out of the fight, and in her place will step former UFC women’s strawweight champion Jessica Andrade. The new UFC Vegas 69 main event between Andrade and Blanchfield was announced during Saturday’s UFC 284 broadcast.
No reason was given for Santos’ withdrawal from the event.
Andrade (24-9), who previously challenged Valentina Shevchenko for flyweight gold, will enter the fight on a three-fight win streak, having most recently earned a one-sided unanimous decision win over Lauren Murphy. The Brazilian remains a threat at both 115 and 125lbs, having defeated Amanda Lemos at strawweight prior to the Murphy fight.
Blanchfield (10-1) is yet to taste defeat inside the octagon, winning her first four fights under the UFC banner. In her last two contests, she’s picked up two submission wins, against JJ Aldrich and Molly McCann.
Jessica Andrade, however, will be a considerable step up in competition. Arguably even more so than Taila Santos, herself a former flyweight title challenger in the organization.
UFC Vegas 69, going down Saturday, February 18, 2023, currently consists of the following match-ups:
- Jessica Andrade vs. Erin Blanchfield
- Jordan Wright vs. Zac Pauga
- Josh Parisian vs. Jamal Pogues
- William Knight vs. Marcin Prachnio
- Jim Miller vs. Alexander Hernandez
- Lina Länsberg vs. Mayra Bueno Silva
- Jamall Emmers vs. Khusein Askhabov
- Ovince Saint Preux vs. Philipe Lins
- Nazim Sadykhov vs. Evan Elder
- A.J. Fletcher vs. Themba Gorimbo
- Clayton Carpenter vs. Juancamilo Ronderos