The highly anticipated welterweight clash between Stephen Thompson and Michel Pereira will not be taking place at the UFC 289 pay-per-view, which is set to go down in Vancouver, Canada, next month.
Journalist Cole Shelton recently confirmed that the bout is now off and reported that the fight has been rescheduled for July. The reason behind the bout being postponed is still unclear. It was also reported that the fighters never officially received their contracts. Shelton tweeted:
"Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira is indeed OFF UFC 289, story coming to @bjpenndotcom."
This isn't the only significant change to the fight card.
Julianna Pena was initially booked to face Amanda Nunes for their trilogy bout in the main event, but an injury has forced 'The Venezuelan Vixen' to pull out. Irene Aldana will now step in to fight for bantamweight gold instead of Pena.
Last month, it was confirmed that a lightweight bout between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush, originally slated for this Saturday's pay-per-view, will now serve as the co-headliner for UFC 289 in June.
UFC 289: Drew Dober on Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush
This is a high stakes matchup, with the victor expected to take on champion Islam Makhachev in Abu Dhabi later this year. Lightweight contender Drew Dober believes Dariush has what it takes to become a champion and expects an easy win for the No.4-ranked lightweight against former champion Oliveira.
In a recent interview with The Schmo, Dober backed Dariush to come out on top and give Makhachev a tough test down the line. The No.14-ranked lightweight said:
"I think Beneil Dariush is the No.1 contender in my division and I think he deserves that title shot against Islam... I could see him running through Charles and I could see him potentially beating Islam too... Beneil just gets better with time, and I think Volkanovski showed a lot of holes in Islam’s game and I know Beneil will take advantage of those.”
Watch the full interview below: