On Thursday, the Ultimate Fighting Championship announced that UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz would take place at Boston’s TD Garden on Jan. 17. The organization also revealed that former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis will return for the first time since losing the belt to take on former Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez in the fight card’s co-main event.
Pettis (18-3) hopes to rebound from his unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos at UFC 185 and move a step closer to a shot at reclaiming the title. Alvarez (26-4) will be looking to build momentum and put together back-to-back wins inside the Octagon.
Two more fights for the Boston event were announced on Thursday. Fifth-ranked heavyweight Travis Browne (17-3-1) takes on 13th-ranked Matt Mitrione (9-4) on the main card while Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (18-9) faces veteran Ed “Short Fuse” Herman (22-11, 1 NC) in middleweight action.
In the main event, former bantamweight titleholder Dominick Cruz (20-1) returns to action against current champion T.J. Dillashaw (12-2) in a fight to determine who really is the top dog in the 135-pound division.