The MMA world has been thrown a bit of a curveball, with the news that Dominick Cruz is going to fight Jimmie Rivera on December 30th.

Recently the UFC announced that the former bantamweight champ will face Rivera on that date at UFC 219. The reason the announcement has likely caught a few folks off guard, is because for months, Cruz said he was waiting for another title shot. The renowned fighter lost the belt to Cody Garbrandt last December. That bout marked the first time since 2007 that Cruz (22-2) had been defeated.

Rivera, meanwhile, has done nothing but impress since he arrived in the UFC. The bantamweight has gone 5-0 to date in the UFC, and Rivera (21-1) has defeated notable names like Urijah Faber and Thomas Almeida during that time.

So, in other words, much respect to Cruz for putting it on the line and agreeing to this fight.

UFC 219 will be hosted by the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.