UFC 289 is taking place in Canada on June 10, but the card is still undergoing construction after losing its headlining bout and its standout undercard fight.
Originally, the main event was to be the trilogy fight between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Pena for Nunes’ bantamweight title. The two were tied at one win apiece, with Pena submitting Nunes for one of the biggest upsets of 2021 followed by Nunes recapturing the title by decision just seven months later. Pena is pulling out of the fight due to a rib injury sustained in training.
Luckily, Irene Aldana has accepted an offer to step in to face Nunes. Aldana was previously set to fight Raquel Pennington on May 20 in what may have served as an eliminator bout. Now, Aldana gets her chance to dethrone the declining, but still dangerous champion.
Aldana has won her last two fights by knockout after dropping a wide decision to Holly Holm in 2020.
UFC 289 loses Stephen Thompson vs. Michael Pereira
A major undercard fight also got the ax. Welterweights Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Michael Pereira were likely to have the best fight on the entire card…that is if someone remembered to send them their contracts.
Because of the administrative issue, Thompson vs. Pereira is off the card. After stunning Kevin Holland in one of the best fights of 2022, Thompson called out the streaking Pereira in a fight that fans were salivating for.
Pereira, the winner of his last five fights, accepted the challenge. The good news is that this back-office faux pas hasn’t killed the possibility of this fight altogether.
Thompson vs. Pereira will be rescheduled for a card in July but is a strong enough fight that it could headline a UFC Fight Night card or co-main event a Fall pay-per-view.
All things considered, the rest of the UFC 289 card remains intact. As of this writing, there have been no further cancellations, and the card remains on target for June 10.