Alexander Volkanovski will have to wait a while to defend his belt in Australia as the upcoming UFC 251 pay-per-view event has been officially postponed.
The UFC men’s featherweight champion Volkanovski was being targeted for a title defense against Max Holloway in the main event of UFC 251, which was set for June 6 at Perth Arena in Perth, Australia. Instead of having his first title defense come in his home country, Volkanovski won’t get that opportunity anymore as UFC 251 has been officially postponed.
The UFC announced the postponement of the event on Monday via Twitter.
— UFC_AUSNZ (@UFC_AUSNZ) May 5, 2020
Although Volkanovski vs. Holloway 2 was never made official by the UFC, it was well-known the promotion was targeting the matchup for this card as the main event and both men had been preparing for it. However, just like many other upcoming sporting events, UFC 251 didn’t survive the coronavirus pandemic. The fact the card was set to take place in Australia made it impossible for the organization to continue to promote it given the current global climate.
The co-main event for the card was set to feature UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko against Joanne Calderwood, but that fight was scrapped weeks ago when Shevchenko had to withdraw from the card. The only other fight that was scheduled to take place at the event was a heavyweight bout between Tai Tuivasa and Jarjis Danho. There’s no indication yet what the UFC will do with that matchup, but given both men are international fighters it could potentially take place on Dana White’s Fight Island.
While it’s certainly a disappointment that UFC 251 will not go on as planned, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise to any given how many UFC events have fallen through in the last few months. For local fans, this news especially stings. However, the UFC says it will be returning to Perth at a later date, though it didn’t specifically say when that would be.