Pendred is unbeaten in the UFC. Emily Harney/INPHO
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Persistence pays off as Ireland's Cathal Pendred added to UFC 189 card

SBG team-mate Gunnar Nelson will now face Brandon Thatch in Las Vegas, meanwhile.

IRELAND’S CATHAL PENDRED has profited from a shuffle of the UFC 189 card.

While a shadow of doubt has been cast off the main event with rumours that the featherweight title fight between Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo may be put on hold due to an rib injury to the Brazilian, there was also some good news for John Kavanagh’s SBG tonight.

It is less than two weeks since welterweight Pendred earned his fourth consecutive UFC victory by defeating Augusto Montano at UFC 188 in Mexico City, but he has been keen to get back into the Octagon and offered to fight middleweight Andrew Craig on short notice in San Diego next month.

However, injury to John Hathaway means he has been replaced by Brandon Thatch, who now fights Pendred’s team-mate Gunnar Nelson on 11 July in Las Vegas. Thatch had originally been pencilled in for a bout with John Howard and Pendred has agreed to take his place, the UFC confirmed.

32-year-old Howard (22-11 MMA, 2-3 UFC) won his first two UFC fights in 2013 but comes into this event on the back of three straight defeats — most recently against Lorenz Larkin at UFC Fight Night: McGregor v Siver back in January.

Pendred tweeted:

McGregor’s UFC title fight could be off after reports of injury to Aldo

UFC veteran sums up the phenomenal impact being made by Conor McGregor

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