Although nothing is official (and the rumored destination has changed), the UFC is close to finalizing its return to Canada — and Romanian Diana Belbita will be fighting in her adopted home if all goes according to plan.
Belbita (14-7), who trains out of Stoney Creek, Ontario, is expected to face Brazil’s Maria Oliveira (13-6) in a women’s strawweight match-up at UFC 289 on June 10, 2023. Though not officially announced, that card is expected to mark the promotion’s return to Canada, with Canadians Marc-Andre Barriault and Jasmine Jasudavicius previously reported for the event.
Although Vancouver was floated as a potential location for the Pay-Per-View event, Calgary is now leading the race, according to a new report by Ariel Helwani.
MMA Fighting, meanwhile, was first to report news of Belbita vs. Oliveira, which the Brazilian subsequently confirmed on her Instagram story.
Belbita, who joined the UFC in 2019, is 1-3 through four fights with the company, and has struggled to stay active, fighting just once per year the past three years. Her most recent bout, in February 2022, saw her lose a decision against Glorida de Paula. Prior to that, Belbita had captured her first win inside the octagon against Hannah Goldy.
Oliveira is 1-2 through three fights in the promotion, with a win against a shared opponent with Diana Belbita in de Paula, and losses to Tabatha Ricci and Vanessa Demopoulos.
UFC 289 will take place on June 10, with the following match-ups currently reported for the event:
- Miranda Maverick vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius
- Eryk Anders vs. Marc-André Barriault
- Diana Belbiţă vs. Maria Oliveira