UFC 289 PPV: The Non-PPV

UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana? We still have to assume most of the time we see these dog shit Fight Night cards, "ah, you know, at least they're gonna stack the PPV's"...

By: June M. Williams | 4 months ago
UFC 289 PPV: The Non-PPV
UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana Fight Poster

Simon says…

Whatever UFC 289 is, it’s not a PPV. A title fight between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana is totally fine and all, but it’s not worth $80. And while the top contender’s bout between Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush helps a lot, pretty much everything from there on out is undercard fodder. As long as the UFC is going to rob Peter by stripping down their Fight Night events, they ought to at least pay Paul, but if they were saving fights for PPV, I’m not seeing them. ~ Zane Simon

The PPV that is not qualified to be a PPV

Z: Wow. Yeah. This is NOT a pay-per-view card.

C: It’s dog shit.

Z: Yeah this is NOT a pay-per-view card. (Worthy of repeating).

C: Yep. It’s bad.

Z: It umm, Nunes-Aldana? I’m glad we’re not just getting Nunes-Peña 3.

C: Phil was clamoring for Nunes-Peña 3 and I was like, “listen, there’s such a thing as a set up and a punchline.” And we got it. The story of that fight is done. The extremely basic question Nunes failed to answer the first time around, was successfully answered in the rematch. Let’s do something else.

That being said, I am sympathetic to people who complain this isn’t particularly interesting because that’s the case with most of Nunes’ title fights. But okay. Another one I guess.

Z: Yeah, I mean it’s the unfortunate thing too. If I imagine Nunes getting the fight she would love to have here, I imagine a ten-foot away, one-shot-at-a-time, kickboxing match.

C: Yeah.

Z: I imagine something along the lines of like, Shevchenko against uhhh…

C: You don’t have to search to far for that, cause we saw it was exactly that fight.

Z: I think Aldana will probably let her have that fight. Much more so than Peña would. So there’s that downside.

C: Yep. At least Peña would have enforced some kind of mess on her, ya know?

Z: Yeah, Peña ya know, she has a pathological need, to create a wild fight. That both led to her absolutely mauling Amanda Nunes one time, and getting mauled the second time. No matter whether succeeding or failing she can’t take her foot off the gas.

C: Yeah. So. And then there’s the rest of the card…

Z: There’s maybe a few fights???

C: Yeah, one really good fight. A couple of interesting ones. And that’s it.

Z: Yeah, realistically what we would have here is the standard UFC Fight Night, with just Oliveira vs. Dariush headlining.

C: Yeah.

Z: But we have that plus a title fight on top of it, so…

C: But like, how are they doing this?

Z: What do you mean?

~ Zane Simon & Connor Ruebusch

“It’s the UFC! They have MOST of the good fighters! How do they manage to put together a PPV… like we still have to assume most of the time we see these dog shit Fight Night cards, “ah, you know, at least they’re gonna stack the PPV’s”.
What? You’re gonna follow last week’s card, which, sure there were some fun fights, but as a line-up, it was merely “fine”. You’re gonna follow that, with THIS as the PPV? Where are the good fighters?! What is going on in the modern UFC that we have gotten… like 2023 has been 75% THIS so far. What is happening?!!”

~ Connor Ruebusch

Z: I think a large part of it is, they are chained to a lack of flexibility more than ever, and with that being the case, fighters are also being more picky than ever.

If you become a top-shelf talent in the UFC. If you become somebody who is making even just like, a hundred-thousand dollars, or 75K, a reasonably talented… your Ilia Kopuria’s, your Dominic Cruz’s of the world, a top-shelf talent… then it behooves you more than ever to hold out for just the perfect spot, because that’s all the leverage you have.

Like, “oh, no I wanna fight on this date, against one of these two or three people, and if I can get that fight, then I’ll wait. Because I know if I do just take whatever the UFC throws at me, then I put myself in more jeopardy, than would be worth the chance of sitting and waiting it out for a better opportunity.” We’re seeing that more and more with our talented fighters.

“So why do they water these cards down with regional level talent? Because it’s cheap. Fighters are frequently drafted over from the Contender Series on $10K show/win purses. This strategy provides economically-friendly talent to fill all the events they need to satisfy their contract with broadcast partner ESPN.” ~ Click the link above for the full article from Stephie Haynes.

UFC 289 PPV Fight Card | Sat. June 10 — 10/7PM ETPT

Here’s a look at the UFC 289: ‘Nunes vs. Aldana’ main pay-per-view fight card, as it stood at the time of recording:

11.Amanda Nunes1 (22-5) Vs. Irene Aldana4 (14-6)UFC Bantamweight Championship (W)
10.Charles Oliveira2 (33-9) vs. Beneil Dariush3 (22-4-1)Lightweight
9.Mike Malott (9-1-1) vs. Adam Fugitt (9-3) Welterweight
8.Dan Ige (16-6) vs. Nate Landwehr (17-4)Featherweight
7.Eryk Anders (15-7) vs. Marc-André Barriault (15-6)Middleweight

UFC 289: Nunes vs. Aldana Prelims

The UFC 289 prelims have a pretty solid featured fight for ESPN between Nassourdine Imavov and Chris Curtis. In fact, it’s solid enough that it’s kind of a shame that it’s not on PPV. Otherwise, much like the main card, the quality drop-off here is steep. The stakes are low, the prospects are minimal, hopefully the quality of the action will make up for what it lacks in curbside appeal. ~ Zane Simon

6.Nassourdine Imavov (12-4) vs. Chris Curtis (30-10)Middleweight
5.Jasmine Jasudavicius (8-2) vs. Miranda Maverick (11-4)Flyweight (W)
4.Aiemann Zahabi (9-2) vs. Aoriqileng (24-9)Bantamweight
3.Blake Bilder (8-0) vs. Kyle Nelson (13-5-1)Feathereight
2.David Dvořák (20-5) vs. Steve Erceg (9-1)Flyweight
1.Diana Belbitã (14-7) vs. Maria Oliveira (13-6)Strawweight

Picks Stats

For those of you following the Vivi picks made on the show, we started tracking the stats for them in early 2020. Current event picks for the guys are now located in the last table of the current sheet in the attached file. So far, here are the overall standings:

Time SpanZane’s Pick RecordConnor’s Pick RecordZane’s Pick %Connor’s Pick %
UFC Vegas 74: Kara-France vs. Albazi9/134/1369.23%30.77%
Early 2020 — UFC Vegas 74, June 2023933/1475891/147563.25%60.41%
2023 Overall Stats121/222114/22254.5%51.4%
2022 Overall Stats331/505312/50566%62%
2021 Overall Stats305/493295/49362%60%
2020 Incomplete Stats*176/255170/25569%67%
* We will be filling in our missing event stats for 2020 this Summer

Reference Vivi Picks Stats Spreadsheets:


Follow Zane @TheZaneSimon & Connor @BoxingBusch; follow us as @BloodyElbow on twitterfacebookinstagram, and at BloodyElbow.Substack.com & BloodyElbowPodcast.Substack.com.

UFC 289, Amanda Nunes, Irene Aldana, Nunes vs Aldana, Charles Oliveira, Beneil Dariush, Oliveira vs Dariush, UFC Pay per view, UFC Official Fight Poster, Fight Poster,

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Our Talented MMA Vivi Sponsor

The UFC 289: Nunes vs. Aldana edition of The MMA Vivisection is brought to you by ‘The Fine Art of Violence’, a collection of art and essays recapping the year in MMA by our Bloody Elbow Art Director: Chris Rini, featuring the most talented artists and writers in Mixed Martial Arts. The book is available in both hard copy and digital formats at chrisrini.com.

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About the author
June M. Williams
June M. Williams

June M. Williams is the Bloody Elbow Ombudsperson, Lead Fixer, Author, Statistician, Watch Party Moderator, and Podcast Network & Syndication Manager.

She began work for the Combat Sports Division of SB Nation in 2010, making Bloody Elbow her primary home since 2014.

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