CFFC bantamweight champion Da’Mon Blackshear (12-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC) has signed with the promotion on short-notice and will face Zalal (10-5 MMA, 3-3 UFC) at the Aug. 13 event. The card takes place at Pechanga Arena in San Diego and airs on ESPN/ESPN+.
Blackshear replaces Cristian Quinonez, who is out of the matchup due to visa issues.
Multiple people with knowledge of the change informed MMA Junkie on Wednesday but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
Blackshear, 27, enters the promotion a well-traveled fighter. Since 2016, Blackshear has made stops in Bellator, CES MMA, Titan FC, and most recently CFFC, where he captured the promotion’s 135-pound belt in November. Blackshear defended successfully in May to extend his winning streak to four.
A key member of the Factory X gym, Zalal, 25, will look to snap a three-fight losing skid. UFC victories to date include Austin Lingo, Seung Woo Choi, and Sean Woodson.
With the change, the UFC on ESPN 41 lineup includes:
- Dominick Cruz vs. Marlon Vera
- Viviane Araujo vs. Alexa Grasso
- Sara McMann vs. opponent TBA
- Devin Clark vs. Azamat Murzakanov
- Gerald Meerschaert vs. Bruno Silva
- Lukasz Brzeski vs. Martin Buday
- Yazmin Jauregui vs. Iasmin Lucindo
- Gabriel Benitez vs. Charlie Ontiveros
- Nate Landwehr vs. David Onama
- Tyson Nam vs. Ode Osbourne
- Da’Mon Blackshear vs. Youssef Zalal
Trained with my dude Nick “The Care Bear” Grady (I deployed with him twice) and Coach Ses Stevens. It’s fucking amazing to see these young guys excel and build their kingdoms.