UFC 251 in Perth loses both title fights

At this stage UFC 251 no longer features championship bouts. The pay-per-view fight card is scheduled for June 7 at RAC Arena in Perth, Australia.

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The women’s flyweight championship between the current titleholder Valentina Shevchenko (19-3) and challenger Joanne Calderwood (14-4) was made official in February. The contest was scheduled to serve as the co-main event.

The bout fell off due leg injury, sustained by the champion in her previous outing, which didn’t heal. As a result “The Bullet” was forced to withdraw. Schevchenko is looking to be back inside the Octagon in August, ESPN reported.

The championship rematch between the reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski (21-1) and former titleholder Max Holloway (21-5) was expected to headline the show. Yet, the contracts were not signed.

The pair first met in December 2019. After five-rounds Volkanovski earned a unanimous decision and became a new champion.

In March Volkanovski said he wanted to face Holloway in the rematch at UFC 251 in Perth.

However, given the current conditions, including travel ban, self-isolation and the rest of circumstances around coronavirus pandemic, that make the preparation for the top-level bout almost impossible, he recently said “I don’t think the Perth card will go ahead, but if it does I don’t know the chances of me being on it.”

Although UFC 251 is still (as of writing) featured on the schedule of upcoming events, it remains unclear whether the event proceeds. It may, indeed, be postponed or cancelled amid COVID-19.

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