Aiemann Zahabi vs. Aoriqileng Booked for UFC 289 on June 10

Aiemann Zahabi, UFC Vegas 58
Aiemann Zahabi, UFC Vegas 58 Weigh-Ins. Credit: Alex Behunin/CagesidePress

The UFC’s return to Canada this June will feature a plethora of Canadian talent.

Among them, Canada’s Aiemann Zahabi (9-2) will face Aoriqileng (24-9) in a bantamweight match-up at UFC 289 on June 10, 2023. The card takes place at the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.

TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter was first to report news of the booking on Friday. Aoriqileng subsequently confirmed the match-up on his Instagram Story.

Zahabi, the younger brother of TriStar head coach Firas Zahabi, has won his last two fights. After missing all of 2020, he returned to action in 2021 where he knocked out Drako Rodriguez, claiming a Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts.

Last year, he also competed just once, winning a decision against TUF 29 winner Ricky Turcios.

China’s Aoriqileng, known as “The Mongolian Murderer,” has likewise won two straight, against Jay Perrin and Cameron Else, with both fights coming in 2022. Overall the Chinese bantamweight, who returned to the weight class last year after debuting in the promotion at flyweight, is 2-2 inside the octagon.

UFC 289 is expected to be headlined by women’s bantamweight (and featherweight) champion Amanda Nunes, who will put her 135lb title on the line in the rubber match of her trilogy with Julianna Pena. The following match-ups have been reported for the UFC’s Canadian return thus far:

  • Amanda Nunes (c) vs. Julianna Pena — for the UFC women’s bantamweight championship
  • Stephen Thompson vs. Michel Pereira
  • Miranda Maverick vs. Jasmine Jasudavicius
  • Eryk Anders vs. Marc-André Barriault
  • Diana Belbiţă vs. Maria Oliveira
  • Blake Bilder vs. Kyle Nelson
  • Matt Schnell vs. David Dvořák
  • Dan Ige vs. Nate Landwehr
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs. Lucas Almeida
  • Aiemann Zahabi vs. Aoriqileng