Julianna Pena drops out of UFC 289 main event in Vancouver due to injury

UFC women's bantamweight contender Julianna Pena. (Juan DeLeon/AP)

Mexico’s Irene Aldana is stepping in for the injured Julianna (The Venezuelan Vixen) Pena to challenge bantamweight champion Amanda (Lioness) Nunes of Brazil in the main event of UFC 289 in Vancouver.

UFC president Dana White, in a social media video, said the 33-year-old American has been sidelined by broken ribs.

Aldana (14-6-0) has won four of her last five fights.

The June 10 card at Rogers Arena will be the first UFC show in Canada since Sept. 14, 2019, at the same Vancouver venue. Justin (The Highlight) Gaethje stopped fellow American Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone in the first round in the main event before an announced crowd of 15,114.

The Nunes-Pena matchup was to have been the final piece in a trilogy of fights.

Pena, the No. 1 contender at 135 pounds, upset Nunes to win the title at UFC 269 in December 2021. The Brazilian regained her belt at UFC 277 last July.

Nunes also holds the UFC featherweight (145-pound) title.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.