The s—t just hit the proverbial fan.
UFC 291 will proceed with one less bout (and one preliminary card asterisk) following the early (and official) weigh ins on Friday, thanks to sizable weight misses from main card welterweight Michel Pereira and early “Prelims” flyweight Vinicius Salvador. “Demolidor” weighed 174 pounds for his Stephen Thompson pay-per-view (PPV) bout, previously scheduled for tomorrow night (Sat., July 29, 2023) at Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, while “Fenomeno” clocked in at 128.5 pounds ahead of his C.J. Vergara fight.
As a result, Thompson vs. Pereira has been removed from the UFC 291 PPV lineup.
Thompson and Pereira were originally expected to hook ‘em up at UFC 289 earlier this year; however, the bout was shelved until UFC 291, though no official explanation was provided for the delay. In addition, the promotion has not yet indicated if “Wonderboy” passed on the portly Pereira, or if Utah Sports Commission (USC) failed to clear the Brazilian for battle.
Either way, welterweight phenom Ian Machado Garry was ready and waiting.
Is the Wonderboy fight off? @seanshelby I’ve called Lloyd, put my team on a plane tonight - I’m ready!— “The Future” Ian Machado Garry (@iangarryMMA) July 28, 2023
That would have been a banger.
Salvador (14-5), who will cough up 20 percent of his purse (payable to Vergara), could be fighting for his job at UFC 291. A loss to Vergara would leave the 27 year-old flyweight 0-2 in UFC with one weight miss. That’s probably not the kind of start Dana White and Co. were hoping for when they signed “Fenomeno” from “Contender Series” back in summer 2022.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 291 fight card right RIGHT HERE, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by the remaining undercard balance on ESPN/ESPN+/ABC 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 291: “Poirier vs. Gaethje 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here. For the updated and finalized UFC 291 fight card and ESPN+ lineup click here.