The UFC will return to Perth, Western Australia, for the time since early 2018 with UFC 251 confirmed for Sunday, June 7 [AEST].
Women's flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko will take on the No. 3 contender Joanne Calderwood in the co-main event with another headline spot to be added at the pay-per-view event at RAC Arena in the coming weeks.
Australia's featherweight world champion Alexander Volkanovski is the favourite to fill that vacancy, either in a title rematch with Max Holloway or against one of the other leading contenders from the division.
Volkanovski continues to recover from a broken right hand suffered in his victory over Holloway in Las Vegas in December, but the Australian last week told ESPN that he was making steady progress by slowly building up his training workload.
"The hand's alright, it's not too bad," Volkanovki said. "Obviously I've been training the whole time, doing a lot of strength and conditioning; a lot of left hands and left hooks. But now I'm starting to drill some light wrestling and light grappling and stuff like that.
"I've just got to be careful, obviously I can't put too much weight on it and slam my hand down too hard, but I'm working my way around it. I'm finally able to do stuff, I'm getting a few sessions in a day, it's really good. It helps me, I hate sitting on the sidelines."
No matter what happens with Volkanovski or Hooker, UFC 251 will likely take on a local feel with Kai Kara-France [New Zealand] and Jake Matthews [Australia] - who were both victorious at UFC Fight Night Auckland - among those to signal their interest in fighting on the Perth card.