Former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Julianna Pena’s injury forced her to pull out of the UFC 289 main event.
The news disappointed the fans, especially those who were eagerly waiting for the third fight between Pena and women’s division GOAT Amanda Nunes. However, UFC president Dana White had a surprise for everyone.
White announced on Tuesday that Irene Aldana, the number 5 ranked women’s bantamweight contender, would be stepping in to face Nunes in the main event. The card is scheduled to take place on June 10th in Vancouver, Canada.
Aldana’s rise in the rankings has been impressive. She has won four of her last five, with three of them ending in finishes. Her latest victory came against Macy Chiasson in September. With a win over Nunes, Aldana has a chance to become the fourth Mexican champion in the UFC, joining the likes of Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso, and Yair Rodriguez.
The Nunes vs Aldana is particularly intriguing because it follows their recent impressive performances. In December 2021, Pena pulled off an upset when she submitted Nunes with a RNC in the second round. However, Nunes bounced back and dominated Pena for 5 rounds in their July 2022 rematch. With the score at 1-1, the third was expected to settle the score for good.
Despite the disappointment of Pena’s injury, the upcoming Nunes vs Aldana bout promises to be an exciting match. Both fighters are known for their striking ability and impressive records. Aldana’s underdog status might work in her favor, as Nunes will have to adjust her game plan to counter Aldana’s skills.
The UFC 289 main event will be a test of endurance, strength, and skills. Will Nunes continue her reign as the women’s division GOAT, or will Aldana create an upset and become the new champion? Fans will have to wait and see.
Ezra Samuel is a passionate freelance writer with a particular love for covering MMA news. His interest in the sport dates back to his college days, and he has since established himself as a respected voice in the MMA community. Over the years, Ezra has contributed his writing to a variety of digital outlets, including the popular site calfkicker.