In the main event of UFC 289, the women’s bantamweight title was on the line. Arguably the greatest of all time in Amanda Nunes (22-5) returned as she took on surging top contender Irene Aldana (14-6).
Aldana got this shot on the heels of going 4-1 in her last five with the lone loss coming to Holly Holm. She’s won back-to-back fights over Macy Chiasson and Yana Santos to earn this shot at the champion.
Amanda Nunes hadn’t lost since 2014 when she took on Julianna Pena at UFC 269. That night, she was upset and stopped in the second round. She didn’t take the challenge seriously and she paid for it. A more motivated Nunes returned in the rematch and she dominated all five rounds. Tonight, she was looking for another dominant title defense.
UFC 289 Recap
The UFC 289 title fight kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Aldana holds the center with her guard up high. Nunes light on her toes and looks to jab the body. Low kick from Nunes and she doubles up on it. Front kick to the body from the champion and then she looks for a high kick.
Powerful front kick lands for the champion. Aldana not throwing much here in the opening 90 seconds. Easy takedown from Nunes and she just backs away letting Aldana back up. Jab from Nunes. Another powerful jab from Nunes and the champion is upping the pressure here.
Aldana lands a nice jab but Nunes counters with one of her own. Both trade jabs in the center. Low kick from Aldana now. Check left hook for Aldana just lands. Two minutes left in the round and Nunes lands a spinning back kick to the body. Another jab from the champion backs Aldana up.
90 seconds left and it’s all Amanda Nunes in the opening round. Big left uppercut lands for Nunes. Nunes is really upping the pressure with her power. Big right hand from Aldana backs up Nunes briefly. Nunes is right back on the pressure though but she was cut by that shot.
Right hand from the champion and a low kick. The round ends and it’s 1-0 Nunes at UFC 289.
Entering the second at UFC 289 and Irene Aldana really needs to pick up the pace if she wants to have a shot here. They touch gloves and back to it. Body kick from Nunes starts the striking. Power jab from Nunes splits the guard of Aldana. Front kick now from Nunes and she’s back on the pressure.
Another jab and front kick from the champion. Low kick from Aldana is her first strike of the round 60 seconds in. Two more kicks for Nunes. Aldana’s legs are starting to get picked apart by the kicks of Nunes. Aldana not throwing and Nunes is just adding up the points here.
Low kick for Nunes and a jab behind it. Halfway through the round and this is not close thus far. Easy takedown for Nunes and she once again just lets Aldana back up to her feet. Jab form Aldana lands but she eats a nasty combination finished with a big knee.
Nunes is really starting to beat up Aldana here in the second. Low kick from Aldana and a right hand from Nunes. 1-2 from Aldana lands nicely. Huge right hand from Nunes and she follows it with a jab. Body kick now from Nunes. Uppercut from Nunes and then another quick takedown. Round ends and it’s all Amanda Nunes at UFC 289.
Entering the third at UFC 289 and Aldana has to throw more shots. Big combination from Nunes starts the striking in the third. Another big combination and the champion is really picking up the pace. Jab and a right hand from Nunes. Aldana looks completely lost in there right now.
Nunes triples up on the jab. Aldana is moving forward but she’s literally not throwing any shots while she’s getting dominated by the champion. Big takedown from Nunes and this time she stays on the ground. Half guard from Nunes and she’s looking to mount.
Aldana works to get back to her feet and does, but Nunes throws her right back down. Nunes backs away briefly and Aldana gets back up. However, Nunes takes her right back down and gets Aldana’s back. Aldana scrambles back to her feet with one minute to work. Aldana looks absolutely exhausted. Combination from Nunes. Another huge combination to end the round and there’s not much hope for Aldana at UFC 289.
Entering the fourth at UFC 289 and Aldana looks completely checked out. Low kick and jab from Nunes starts the striking. Low kick from Aldana now and it’s answered by a body kick from the champion. Massive step in elbow and a combination from Nunes.
Double jab for Nunes and Aldana is getting busted up. Left hook now from Nunes and a big jab behind it. Aldana is trying more in the fourth, but there’s just no answer. Leg kick from Nunes and she tries a takedown attempt. Aldana defends and circles away.
Jab from Nunes and Aldana plots forward. Jab from Aldana now and she looks to throw a hook behind it. Quick takedown from Nunes and Aldana gets back up quickly. Jab from Nunes and the champion is holding the center here. Two straight hooks now from Nunes. Huge right from Nunes.
Another huge combination from Nunes but Aldana is just eating it. Aldana is plotting forward looking for her own right hand. Big left hook and a jab from Nunes. Another massive combination from the champion and the round ends. Irene Aldana needs a miracle at UFC 289.
There’s a round left, but this fight is essentially over. They touch gloves and the final round is underway. Aldana is plotting forward but is just eating shots from Nunes. Big takedown from Nunes and Aldana is desperately trying to get back to her feet, but Nunes settles in.
Aldana looks completely dejected on the round here. Short elbows from Nunes. 90 seconds left and Nunes lands another big elbow. More elbows from Nunes and Aldana isn’t even trying to get up right now. Three minutes left in the final round.
More elbows from Nunes and Nunes moves to the mount. Big shots to the body now from Nunes and it looks like she’s pressing for a finish. She postures up and lands big elbows on Aldana. Massive shots from Nunes and then she settles back into control.
The time is ticking away and Aldana’s dreams of becoming a UFC champion have gone up in smoke. The fight ends and it will be a very lopsided scorecard for the champion.
Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana by Unanimous Decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-43)