UFC 289 was supposed to be headlined by a third fight between reigning double-champ Amanda Nunes and former titleholder Julianna Peña. The two women have one victory apiece over each other, and this trilogy would’ve settled the score.
But as announced by UFC president Dana White over social media, there will be new developments to the card. Peña suffered an injury during training. Fortunately the organization has already found a replacement.
Amanda Nunes gets a new challenger for UFC 289
In a tweet he posted on Tuesday night, White announced the new headliner for UFC 289 in Vancouver, the company’s first event in Canada since 2019.
“Unfortunately, she broke her ribs. She cannot compete,” White said of Peña. “We have Irene Aldana who’s coming in, who won four of her last five, and three of those were finishes.
“We could have another Mexican world champion.”
Nunes already expected Aldana
There is a deep history between Amanda Nunes and Julianna Peña, with the ‘Venezuela Vixen’ becoming the first challenger to dethrone the first two-division female champion in UFC history. But for ‘The Lioness,’ Aldana is a likewise worthy opponent.
“I thought it was going to be (Aldana),” Nunes said in an April interview. “Everything changed to Julianna, and I was OK with it, too. No matter what, whatever UFC showed me (for an) opponent, I’m going to be happy to defend my belt.”
A quick look at Irene Aldana’s résumé
She may be a boxer by nature, but Aldana has proven herself a threat everywhere. Three of her wins have come on the mats, with her last submission victory picked up over former title challenger Bethe Correia in 2019. It’s not just punches standing, either. Aldana’s most recent victory against Macy Chiasson was a third round knockout via a rare upkick to the liver.
With a record of 14-6, the 35-year-old Aldana has faced the likes of former champion Holly Holm and another ex-title challenger in Raquel Pennington. Although unfortunately for her, both women took decision victories over the Team Lobo talent.
UFC 289’s updated fight card
Right behind the Amanda Nunes-Irene Aldana headliner in the co-main event is the rescheduled lightweight clash between former champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush. The fight was supposed to co-headline UFC 288 this weekend, but an injury on “Do Bronx” forced their fight to be delayed.
Also part of the event is a fight between number 13 ranked Dan Ige, who faces former M-1 champion Nate Landwehr. Number 14-ranked light heavyweight contender Khalil Rountree Jr. will also be part of the card, where he faces Chris Daukaus making his debut at light heavyweight after a heavyweight run that saw him climb into the division’s top 10.
UFC 289 will take place on June 10 at the Rogers Arena.
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