The UFC will return to Canada.
The mixed martial arts promoter said UFC 289 will take place on June 10 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
UFC President Dana White announced the news in a social media video on Friday.
“So everyone is asking me: ‘When are you coming back to Canada? When are you coming back to Canada?'” White said. “UFC 289, June 10, Rogers Arena, Vancouver. Goodbye, Canada.”
The last UFC fight in Canada was Sept. 14, 2019, at the same Vancouver venue before the pandemic. Justin (Highlight) Gaethje held off fellow American Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone in the first round of the Main Event to a declared crowd of 15,114.
Brazil’s Amanda (The Lioness) Nunes will defend her (135-pound) bantamweight title against top-ranked American Juliana (Venezuela Vixen) Pena in the main event. It will be their third meeting with Nunes, who lost the title at UFC 269 in December 2021 and regained it at UFC 277 last July.
Nunes also holds the UFC (145-pound) featherweight title.
The return to Canada is good news for 15 Canadians on the UFC’s roster of around 600 active fighters, which the UFC hopes will lure ticket buyers by featuring homegrown talent on their cards.
“Yessssssss,” wrote welterweight Mike Malott of Burlington, Ont., in response to White’s video.
Canadians Diana (Warrior Princess) Belbita, Marc-Andre (Power Bar) Barriault, (Mean) Hakeem Dawodu, Jasmine Jasudavicius, John (The Bull) Makdessi, Kyle (The Monster) Nelson and Aiemann Zahabi are all on the cards for UFC 289.
A fight between American Stephen (Wonderboy) Thompson, ranked seventh among welterweight contenders, and No. 15 Michelle (Demolidor) Pereira was also mentioned.
The UFC, which has 31 cards in Canada, made its debut at UFC 83 in Montreal in April 2008. The shows have been held in 11 cities and have hosted 19 world championships.
Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Moncton, Ottawa, Quebec City, Saskatoon, Toronto and Winnipeg have also hosted UFC fights.
Neil Davidson, Canadian Press