counter easy hit

UFC 289 – Amanda Nunes Vs Irene Aldana

The UFC makes its return to Canada with an epic women’s bantamweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana. Also on the card, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira battles Beneil Dariush.

Nunes has the strength and savvy to work around Aldana’s guard, pounding her with hard jabs and big elbows.

What to Expect

The main event features Amanda Nunes defending her women’s bantamweight title against Irene Aldana. The bout was originally supposed to be a trilogy fight for Nunes’ title against Julianna Pena, but the latter pulled out of the fight with an injury.

Early on, Nunes uses her length to her advantage by stalking Aldana and firing heavy jabs. She’s also using her leg kicks well, tying up the challenger and scoring a brief takedown. However, she’s not really threatening on the ground as she refuses to fully let loose with her strikes.

By the midway point, Nunes is still the clear winner as she uses her distance to keep Aldana at bay with a series of jabs and leg kicks. The champion also lands a brutal elbow that cuts her foe. Aldana finally gets more active in the closing minute of the first round, but it’s not enough to change the outcome of the fight.

Round two begins with Nunes continuing to pound away at her challenger. Aldana tries to counter with a few punches but is taken down and put on her back. She’s able to stand up, but Nunes immediately returns to her dominant attack.

In the third and final round, Nunes lands another barrage of strikes. She even rips Aldana with a vicious elbow that stuns her. The challenger manages to fend off the champ’s advances and tries to get her back on the mat, but Nunes puts her in full mount.

For more on this fight and other upcoming events, be sure to check out the comprehensive UFC 289 event hub. You can watch the live action on ESPN+ starting at 6 p.m. ET Saturday evening.

Round 1

The women’s bantamweight title is on the line as champion Amanda Nunes takes on surging contender Irene Aldana. Aldana is riding a three-fight winning streak including back-to-back victories over Macy Chiasson and Yana Santos to earn this title shot.

The fight opens with the pair touching gloves, and then jumping straight to trading. They move into the clinch and Nunes is able to take her opponent down.

Nunes lands a few punches before getting back up to her feet and kicking. She starts landing combinations and looking for a leg kick to the body. Aldana moves in for a takedown but can’t complete it, and then is tripped up as she tries to stand back up.

In the second round, Nunes continues to dominate with multiple takedowns and lots of strikes landed. She’s showing no fear as she goes after the legs of Aldana, landing a front and a side kick. Aldana tries to fight back but is unable to get a good shot off, and then Nunes immediately clings to her and looks for the armbar.

In the co-main event, featherweight contenders Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush clash in a rematch of their first meeting at UFC 288. Oliveira came out on top in that bout but was forced to pull out of this fight with an injury. The fight was expected to set up a unification match between the two for the title later this year.

Round 2

Round two sees Nunes take advantage of Aldana’s reluctance to engage. She lands leg kicks and jabs in close, keeping the pressure on Aldana. The challenger finally responds with a straight right hand, but the champ clinches up and looks for a back choke. She tries to let Aldana up, but once again, she goes to work with punches and elbows. The round ends with Nunes dropping heavy leather on the challenger.

In the co-main event, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira takes on Beneil Dariush in a bout that was originally supposed to be a rematch between Oliveira and Islam Makhachev. Oliveira was forced to pull out of the fight due to injury, and Dariush stepped in as a replacement.

Round three starts with both fighters landing hard jabs and circling around the cage, trying to find openings. Aldana’s output remains very low and she can’t seem to get the power in her strikes. Nunes, on the other hand, is committing to early combinations and she’s landing hard shots on top of Aldana’s half guard.

Nunes’s attack becomes more frequent and she lands some heavy elbows on the challenger. The champ also snatches up a couple of takedowns and keeps the momentum going.

Aldana manages to break free and throw some short punches, but the champ is still in complete control. Nunes scores another slam and she’s looking for a back mount, but Aldana lands a solid right hand. MMA Junkie gives the round to Nunes. Her diversity of attacks, high amount of control time, and heavy punches and elbows made this a round to remember. She’s now one step closer to becoming the first double bantamweight champion in UFC history.

Round 3

Round three sees Nunes putting some mustard behind her punches. She backs Aldana into her high guard and lands a couple of jabs. Aldana looks for a front kick, can’t get it, and gets tripped up in the process. She tries to fight her way up, but Nunes smothers and picks her up in half guard. She drops short elbows as she works her way into mount.

Aldana hasn’t landed anything of significance since the opening bell. She’s trying to push her way into the center, but Nunes remains patient and waits for her opening. She shoots, can’t finish it but takes Aldana down and drops short punches in the process.

Nunes moves into mount with a minute to go and puts the pressure on. She tries to take Aldana’s arm in but she escapes and makes it back to the feet with a minute left. Aldana tries to land a big shot, but her power is lacking. She’s also looking for a leg lock, but Nunes holds her off.

Nunes retains her bantamweight title in the main event of UFC 289 in Vancouver, Canada. She is now a two-division champion and the most dominant women’s fighter in UFC history. Prior to the main event, Yair Rodriguez, Alexa Graso and Brandon Moreno defeated their opponents in the featured prelims. In the co-main event, former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira returned to the octagon to take on Beneil Dariush. The winner of this fight will likely receive a shot at Islam Makhachev’s current belt. The fight airs at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ with a pay-per-view cost of $80. UFC Fight Pass subscribers can watch the early prelims at 7 p.m. ET.

Round 4

The round opens with a jab by Nunes and a front kick from Aldana. The champion looks to throw a takedown but Aldana defends and circles away. Aldana lands a left hook and another body shot but is unable to get the better of Nunes. Nunes tries another takedown and Aldana again denies it. The champion backs her opponent to the fence and lands some short strikes.

Aldana is more aggressive but cannot match Nunes’ striking power. The champion continues to stalk her foe along the fence and lands short strikes while holding top position. With two minutes remaining, Nunes passes into full mount. She doesn’t do much from there and simply hammers away until the bell.

Nunes will win by a decision in her second-ever fight against Aldana, a talented Mexican striker who is just as dangerous on the ground as she is in the air. The winner will be the first woman to ever hold two bantamweight titles at the same time. The champion will also become the first woman to defend her title twice in a row. Amanda Nunes is one of the most prolific fighters in UFC history and ranks among the sport’s greatest women’s stars. She has won three title defenses in the featherweight division and will now try to add a fourth in the bantamweight division against surging challenger Irene Aldana tonight in Vancouver, Canada. The main event is live on ESPN+ at 10 p.m. ET (ET). Check out the early prelims starting at 6 p.m. ET on the same platform, and the main card is available with an ESPN+ subscription ($10/month) or a $80 pay-per-view fee.