UFC 289: Irene Aldana Locked In For Amanda Nunes
We are now just days away from Irene Aldana getting the opportunity of a lifetime at UFC 289.
Aldana will step inside the Octagon this Saturday night from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada to challenge Amanda Nunes for the bantamweight title.
The bout headlines the event live on ESPN+ pay-per-view, as Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush meet in the co-main event.
Aldana replaces former champion Julianna Pena, who was forced to bow out of the planned third meeting with Nunes due to an injury.
Irene Aldana More Than Just Another Fighter
The 35-year-old Aldana hails from Culiacan, Sinaloa, Mexico and has been competing in mixed martial arts since 2012. Overall, she owns a record of 14-6 with eight knockout wins to her credit.
In fact, two of those eight finishes have come in her last two fights. She stopped Yana Kunitskaya back in 2021 and finished Macy Chiasson with an upkick at UFC 279 last September.
“I’m really enjoying (fight week) and I’m really happy and this is just like a normal fight for me. I feel ready,” Aldana said. “I’ve always been one of the biggest fighters in the division and I feel in good shape.
“Training camp was really good and I’m physically in my best shape ever.”
Aldana Has Faced Former Champions Before
While Nunes is the biggest challenge of Aldana’s career, she has went toe-to-toe with a former UFC champion in the past.
Back in 2020, Aldana battled Holly Holm to a decision live on ESPN from Abu Dhabi. While Holm gained the win that night, going five rounds was a waking up moment for Aldana.
After that, she posted her finishes to secure a shot at Nunes, who is also the UFC featherweight champion.
“It’s a motivation to see the belts on her,” Aldana said. “Knowing that I’m able to win that and to have my own picture with that belt.”
Will Third Time Be The Charm?
Aldana is set for her third championship match, as she lost the previous two. Back in 2013, she was bested by reigning PFL champion Larissa Pacheco for the Jungle Fight bantamweight belt.
Two years later, she lost to Tonya Evinger for the Invicta FC bantamweight title in the fourth round.
Along the way, she has scored wins over the likes of Peggy Morgan, Jessamyn Duke, Talita Bernardo, Bethe Correia and Colleen Schneider.