Next month’s UFC 289 loses another main card fight

UFC 289 loses an exciting welterweight match-up.

By: Lucas Rezende | 5 months ago
Next month’s UFC 289 loses another main card fight
Stephen Thompson, seen here with Kevin Holland, was scheduled to appear at UFC 289. IMAGE/ZUMA Wire.

Yet another UFC bout has been mysteriously withdrawn from its original card. Once scheduled to face each other at UFC 289, in June, contenders Stephen Thompson and Michel Pereira have been removed from their card and not relocated to another event as of the time of this post’s publication, reports.

Stephen Thompson first called out Pereira in August 2022

In fact, neither party, as well as the promotion have released any statements on the reason why has been cancelled. However, it is worth noting that it was Thompson himself who asked for the fight back in August. A technical kickboxer with tons of experience, ‘Wonderboy’ wanted to test himself against the a flashy striker such as Pereira.

“I’m looking at Michel Pereira, I think that would be an awesome fight. He’s an up-and-coming guy who’s definitely down to bang and strike,” Thompson said to back in August. “I think he also called me out on social media, so I think that would be a good fight for sure. Michel Pereira would be a fun one, that one interests me for sure. He’s exciting, I’m exciting. My last few guys that I had strike we on Fight of the Night and won bonuses so I think that would be a fun fight for sure.”

Michel Pereira thinks the UFC does not like the fight

Pereira himself has been calling out Thompson for a while now, too. Back in August 2022, the Brazilian posted an angry tweet questioning why the UFC would not book the fight and followed that up with another callout earlier in 2023, when he mentioned Stephen’s name alongside other welterweight contenders in a provcative interview with Ag Fight.

“I’d fight (Colby) Covington,” Pereira said. “I’d really like to fight (Khamzat) Chimaev, because he talks too much. I’d fight Thompson. The only ones I wouldn’t fight are (Vicente) Luque and (Gilbert) Burns. The rest of them, I’m ready for them, they can all come at me. I ask, but they don’t accept it. They’re sissies. Whoever wants it, I’m here.”

“I found out today that he wants to fight me and I want to fight him, but for some reason, the UFC doesn’t want to close this fight and I don’t know why this is. I’m already winning five consecutive fights. In my all my fights, I always had a great performance. I deserve this fight.”

In another tweet, on the same day, Pereira also once again hinted that the UFC was not interested in booking the fight, claiming that both athletes wanted the fight, but the promotion was somehow stopping the match from happening.

“I want to fight him and he wants to fight me. I don’t understand why this fight is not happening.” Pereira tweeted, while tagging news outlets ESPN and Combate, as well as matchmakers Mick Maynard and Sean Shelby and UFC president Dana White.

Thompson and Pereira are out, but UFC 289 is still on

In his last outing, Stephen Thompson (17-6-1) scored a TKO win via doctor stoppage when he faced Kevin Holland, back in December 2022. The victory snapped a two-fight losing skid for the now 40-year-old, with a couple of unanimous decision losses to Belal Muhammad and Gilbert Burns, respectively in December and July 2021.

Meanwhile, Michel Pereira (28-11-2 NC) looks for his sixth straight win the Octagon, following victories over Zelim Imadaev, Khaos Williams, Niko Price, Andre Fialho and most recently, in May 2022, Santiago Ponzinibbio. The 29-year-old has not suffered a loss since a disqualification defeat due to illegal knee against Diego Sanchez, in February 2020.

Though Thompson and Pereira remain without a date, UFC 289 is still slated to take place on June 10, in Vancouver, Canada. The card is scheduled to feature a title fight for the women’s bantamweight title between champion Amanda Nunes and challenger Irene Aldana. On its co-main event, former lightweight title-holder Charles Oliveira is set to take on contender Beneil Dariush.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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