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UFC 289’s battered Vancouver fight card suffers significant last-minute hit

UFC 289 was already looking thin before a light heavyweight scrap between Chris Daukaus and Khalil Rountree was removed under cloudy circumstances.

MMA: MAY 04 UFC 288 Media Day Photo by Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

UFC 289, which takes place this weekend (Sat., June 10, 2023) inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, has taken another hit, losing a Light Heavyweight tilt between Khalil Rountree vs. Chris Daukaus.

The reason for the removal is still a bit cloudy: MMA Junkie broke the news and cited an injury to Daukaus as the reason. But, MMA Fighting’s Mike Heck spoke to sources close to Daukaus who said there was no injury and the fight is being rescheduled for a later date.

Does one of the many upcoming UFC Apex cards need a headline fight?

LIVE! Watch UFC 293 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

MASSIVE MIDDLEWEIGHT MATCH! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Sydney, Australia, for the first time in five years on Sat., Sept. 9, 2023, with a 185-pound world title fight inside Qudos Bank Arena. In the ESPN+-streamed pay-per-view (PPV) main event, Middleweight roost-ruler, Israel Adesanya, plans to silence No. 5-seeded contender, Sean Strickland. In UFC 293’s hard-hitting Heavyweight co-main event, No-6-ranked fan favorite, Tai Tuivasa, locks horns with towering Russian, Alexander Volkov (No. 8).

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Daukaus was looking to make his 205-pound debut after a rough three-fight losing streak, with all three coming via knockout. Rountree, on the other hand, is riding a three-fight win streak, two of which came via technical knockout.

UFC 289 has taken a couple of tough hits as it winds toward showtime. Women’s Bantamweight champion, Amanda Nunes, was originally set to face Julianna Pena for the third time in a row, but a Pena injury resulted in Irene Aldana being subbed in. We’d argue that’s actually a more interesting fight, but Pena is better known and was the first fighter to beat “The Lioness” in seven years.

The pay-per-view (PPV) card also lost Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira under strange circumstances as well. Reportedly, contracts for the fight to go down in Vancouver were never even sent out. Canada’s loss is Salt Lake City’s gain, however, as Thompson and Pereira are fighting at UFC 291 on July 28, 2023.

That leaves UFC 289 with little of note than the women’s Bantamweight title fight and a Lightweight No. 1 contender eliminator match between Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush. Oliveira vs. Dariush is a hell of a fight, but is it and Nunes vs. Aldana worth $80 to watch?

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 289 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard on ESPN/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 289: “Nunes vs. Aldana” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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