Tonight’s fight card will be headlined by women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes looking defend her belt against Mexican striker Irene Aldana. This post will cover that contest, Nunes being a heavy favorite to retain her title over Aldana.
The event will be a standard PPV. There are two early prelims on ESPN+ and Fight Pass that will kick off around 7pm ET / 4pm PT. The televised four-fight prelims will air on ESPN+ and ESPNews and will start at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. The PPV kicks off at 10pm ET / 7pm PT with five fights, and you can order it on ESPN+ PPV.
UFC 289: Amanda Nunes vs Irene Aldana play-by-play
Round 1: A few leg kicks are thrown by Nunes but no one is really opening up after a minute. Nunes throws a few kicks to the body. Nunes quickly drags Aldana to the mat with a single leg, but allows Aldana to climb back to her feet. Aldana still hasn’t landed a strike. Nunes lands the first punch. Aldana finally lands a leg kick. Nunes mixing jabs and front kicks as she’s pushing Aldana back. Aldana has a serious case of stage fright.
Nunes starting to get loose, putting some mustard behind her punches. Aldana finally lands something heavy as Nunes advances. Aldana goes back to inactivity after she backs Nunes off. Nunes lands a few more strikes, but just touching strikes, before the round ends. Easy 10-9 for Nunes.
Round 2: Nunes is getting loose again, mixing low kicks and punches. She fakes a takedown, but Aldana retreats quickly. Nunes getting some heavy leg kicks in. Aldana finally lands a punch, but that’s it. Nunes puts Aldana on her butt for a second with a single leg, but lets her get up. Aldana finally starts to throw more than one strike, but only for a span of about 15 seconds. Nunes continues to mix her punches and kicks beautifully. Alana whiffs on a head kick and Nunes scores a takedown on the follow throw. Another 10-9 round for Nunes.
Round 3: Awesome punching combo from Nunes to open the round. Nunes backing Aldana down with front kicks. Nunes is back to the jabs between Aldana’s high guard. Nunes allows Aldana to advance, but she lands nothing and Nunes opts to secure a double leg. Aldana tries to bounce up, but Nunes isn’t having it this time. Nunes gets in a few solid punches, but Aldana isn’t making it easy for Nunes to do more than maintain position.
Aldana manages to climb back to her feet, only for Nunes to trip her up. Nunes opts to let Aldana up, but immediately clinches her up and trips her down again, Nunes looking for the back. Nunes is high, switches to looking for an arm rather than Aldana’s back. Aldana escapes. Aldana tries to seriously engage with punches, but Nunes starts landing some heavy leather right before the end of the round. Nunes is doing whatever she wants in this fight. Another 10-9 for Nunes.
Round 4: Aldana whiffs on some big punches to open the round. She’s putting some oomph into her leg kicks too, which land. Nunes begins advancing and lands a big elbow on Aldana. Aldana isn’t throwing with authority anymore. Nunes pushing Aldana back with jabs and front kicks again. Nunes shoots on a double leg, but Aldana defends. Aldana defends another takedown. A few more punches and kicks from Nunes before Nunes gets another takedown.
Nunes lets Aldana stands and we’re back to Nunes backing up Aldana with jabs and front kicks. A heavy right from Nunes lands. A big knee from the clinch from Nunes. A big right from Nunes. Aldana reluctant to engage again. Nunes doing whatever she wants as Aldana hasn’t shown up in the least. Another 10-9 for Nunes, putting her up 40-36 in my book.
Round 5: Nunes engages first, but Aldana is trying to walk her back. Nunes responds with a double leg and finishes the takedown. Nunes staying heavy on top of Aldana, but isn’t able to get much effective offense going. Nunes pushes Aldana’s head against the fence and starts getting in some good elbows. Aldana adjusts, but Nunes finds a few more good punches before Aldana closes the guard again. Nunes secures the mount and Aldana almost gives up her back. Nunes begins landing punches to the body. This fight will be on the MMA Depressed Us soon enough. Nunes 10-9, 50-45 total for me.
Official Result: Amanda Nunes defeated Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44 x2, 50-43)
Amanda Nunes announces her retirement after the fight, demanding someone get some scissors to cut off her gloves. She also demands Brazil gets their butt in gear as she was the only Brazilian champion. We wish her well on her future endeavors.
Full UFC 289 Fight Card
Full results and highlights for UFC 289 can be seen here, fight card can be seen below.
Amanda Nunes vs. Irene Aldana: (W) Bantamweight Title
Charles Oliveira vs. Beneil Dariush: Lightweight
Mike Malott vs. Adam Fugitt: Welterweight
Dan Ige vs. Nate Landwehr: Featherweight
Eryk Anders vs. Marc-André Barriault: Middleweight
Nassourdine Imavov vs. Chris Curtis: Middleweight
Jasmine Jasudavicius vs. Miranda Maverick: (W) Flyweight
Aiemann Zahabi vs. Aoriqileng: Bantamweight
Blake Bilder vs. Kyle Nelson: Featherweight
David Dvořák vs. Steve Erceg: Flyweight
Diana Belbiţă vs. Maria Oliveira: Strawweight
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