Mental ‘blockage’ – Irene Aldana issues first statement on UFC 289, ‘bad night’ vs Amanda Nunes

Irene Aldana vows to come back stronger after loss to Amanda Nunes at UFC 289.

By: Lucas Rezende | 3 months ago
Mental ‘blockage’ – Irene Aldana issues first statement on UFC 289, ‘bad night’ vs Amanda Nunes
IMAGO/ZUMA WIRE: Irene Aldana lost to Amanda Nunes at UFC 289.

Last Saturday in Vancouver, Canada was not Irene Aldana’s title. At the UFC 289 main event, there was little the Mexican could do to pose a threat to now retired women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes, which led to a frustrating unanimous decision loss for the challenger. However, ‘the 35-year-old ‘Robles’ claims something was off in her mind and has her heart set on fixing it.

Irene Aldana’s had a mental blockage at UFC 289

Following the loss to Amanda Nunes, Aldana took to her official Twitter account to send a message to her fans and a thank-you to her team for the training camp. In the post, the Mexican calls the ‘Lioness’ the greatest of all time, but mentions a mental blockage that affected her performance at UFC 289. Now, the 35-year-old promises to return stronger and free from any psychological setbacks.

“It was an honor to face Amanda Nunes. Incredible fighter and GOAT. I’m sorry to have failed my coaches and all of you. I assure you that this does not stay like this. It was a bad night, but the goal is still clear and the objective is still that fourth belt. I promised you and I’m going to fulfill it. Whatever the cost. I have already identified this blockage. I know what I have to do it won’t happen again. I give you my word. I’ll be back for all those people who believe in me. If I have learned anything from this sport, it’s to always get up.”

“For now, I am going to return to the gym as soon as possible and work very hard to earn that second chance.” Irene wrote. “Always thanks to everyone for so much support and love, and mainly, thanks to my coaches and all (of) my team for being at the foot of the canyon in good times and bad. The promise is especially for you.”

UFC 289 marked Amanda Nunes’ last MMA fight

The defeat at UFC 289 snapped a two-fight winning streak for Irene Aldana (14-7), who had a couple of knockout losses over Macy Chiasson and Yana Santos going into the title fight. Before that, the 35-year-old dropped a unanimous decision to another former champion in Holly Holm, back in October 2020.

Meanwhile, Amanda Nunes (23-5) retired from the sport and secured her name as the greatest female mixed martial arts of all time for most in the fighting community. The Brazilian’s record includes victories over her generation’s most notable names, across the women’s featherweight and bantamweight divisions.

“My mom had been asking me so much to do this (retire) for so long.” Nunes said in her post-fight interview. “She cannot take it anymore. My family as well, Nina, she’s been around so much with me my whole career. We’ve been in this road for so long. 

“So I decided right now. I’m still young to enjoy everything that I made. I’m gonna travel a little bit with my family. I got to spend time with my family in Brazil, as well. I left them so young to chase this dream.”

Among Amanda Nunes’ wins are former champions Ronda Rousey, Cris Cyborg, Valentina Shevchenko, Holly Holm and Miesha Tate, to name a few. The 35-year-old’s sole loss in her last 15 outings took place in December 2021, when she got submitted by Julianna Pena via rear-naked choke. In July 2022, the Brazilian avenged the loss by rematching the ‘Venezuelan Vixen’ and winning back the women’s bantamweight belt via unanimous decision.

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About the author
Lucas Rezende
Lucas Rezende

Lucas Rezende is a Brazilian journalist and writer from Belem, Para. He has been covering MMA since 2012 and contributing with Bloody Elbow since March 2015. When not writing, Lucas also teaches English. In his free time, he enjoys reading, slapping the bass guitar and traveling.

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