Nobody is more excited for the UFC’s return to Canada than Corey Charron. Between one of his favorite active fighters, Charles Oliveira, being on the card, the most dominant woman to ever do it, Amanda Nunes, in the main event and plenty of Canadian talent to support, Charron is in hog heaven in the days leading up to UFC 289.
As a man who was in attendance for some of the biggest fights in history and hasn’t missed a PPV event in years, Charron knows a thing or two about big fights.
UFC 289 not only has the fights Charron wants to see, but it also marks the UFC’s first trip back to Canada since 2019, which may mean more to him than the fights themselves.
“Everyone is different, but personally, being Canadian, we take great pride in supporting other Canadians,” Charron explains. “We always feel like we’re the little brother to America, essentially. It’s pretty much known that if you want to make it big, you have to leave Canada and go to America to be successful. You never hear somebody tell you that you need to leave your hometown and go to Canada to become successful, but you may hear that you need to leave Iowa to go to New York or California to become successful.”
Legends like Carlos Newton, Gary Goodridge, GSP and others put Canadian MMA on the map. The country also seemed to partially adopt the likes of Max Holloway and Brock Lesnar, as well, in addition to landing some of the most exciting events out there.
The country has missed the Octagon and Charron knew from the second he heard the announcement that the country would celebrate the news. With a mix of Canadian talent, a title fight and a highly anticipated lightweight scrap, Charron feels blessed to be back in the UFC rotation.
“I’m happy just to get a card back in Canada,” Charron said. “Canada is a good group of people who are always happy to attend these sporting events.”
The pandemonium now has Charron thinking, in 2023, what would be the Canadian card he would build?
He'd take the Octagon to Montreal, bring back two legends and likely send three fighters off into the sunset.
Main Event: Georges St-Pierre vs Khabib Nurmagomedov
“You can’t have a Canadian dream card without GSP. He’s a bit older, but I think it’s just one of those ‘what if?’ fights that everybody thinks, ‘What would happen if these two fought?’
Co-Main: Jon Jones vs Sergei Pavlovich
“I think this is the most anticipated fight between two people on the roster right now. If I was Jon Jones, I’d fight Stipe (Miocic). It’s more iconic for your resume and it’s an easier fight. Stipe is the greatest heavyweight fighter in UFC history but he’s also at that age where he’s on his way out, so it’s an easier fight. With Sergei being on a six-fight first-round knockout streak, I think it would be a scary fight for Jones. That would be his biggest competition in the division.”
Conor McGregor vs Justin Gaethje
“This one, for the sheer excitement of it, has to be in there. Conor vs Chandler would be great, too, but this one would be such a slugfest.”
Charles Jourdain vs Edson Barboza
“I’d definitely need Jourdain in there. I don’t want him to go out and get smoked, but I’d like somebody in there worth beating. Him and Barboza would be sick. Barboza is still putting in highlight reel knockouts.”
Hakeem Dawodu vs The Korean Zombie
“I just think that would be a dope fight and I’d need two Canadians on the main card.”
The likelihood of Charron’s dream card coming together is as close to happening as falling out of a plane and surviving, but people have done it. Until then, it’s all about UFC 289 for the battle rap superstar.
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UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana took place live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada on June 10, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!