By Richard Hunter | @RichardHunter
DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) -- Saturday night's UFC 177 pay per view card has a lot of ties to its' host city of Sacramento.
In the main event, local hero T.J. Dillishaw defends the bantamweight title that he took from Renan Barao in a highly anticipated rematch. Before that, however, a lightweight attraction featuring another Sacramento native and training partner of Dillishaw will serve as the co-main event.
Long time Team Alpha Male fighter Danny "Last Call" Castillo will look to thrill his hometown crowd when he takes on former "Ultimate Fighter" winner Tony Ferguson.
Listen to Richard Hunter talk to Tony Ferguson and Danny Castillo about their UFC 177 co-main event fight:
After the original co-main event of a title fight between flyweight champ Demetrious Johnson and Chris Cariaso was rescheduled for Las Vegas next month, the fight between Castillo and Ferguson was elevated to the co-main slot. It is somewhat unusual that a UFC co-main event doesn't feature either ranked fighters (neither fighter is currently listed among the top 15 lightweights) or veteran superstar names, but the organization seems confident in banking on two fighters who are known for quality performances with frequently exciting finishes.
Castillo is coming off of a devastating first round one-punch knock out of Charlie Brenneman, and Ferguson recently scored a first round KO of his own over Katsunori Kikuno after nearly submitting him with his signature D'Arce choke. On the line for both fighters is most likely an introduction into The UFC lightweight rankings, as well as a potential performance bonus for a stand out fight.
These are two guys who don't need title implications to get motivated for a fight. Personal pride runs high with both of them, and they will look to raise the bar of expectation for Dillishaw and Barao as they provide the appetizer for the main course of Saturday night's bantamweight title main event.
UFC 177 airs Saturday night at 9:00 pm central, exclusively on pay per view.
Follow Richard Hunter on Twitter at @RichardHunter as he will be tweeting live updates from the fight in Sacramento.
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