The UFC has finalized a matchup between top five bantamweights that will take place in July. Milenio was the first to report this evening that the promotion was booking a matchup between Irene Aldana (12-6) and Yana Kunitskaya (14-5, 1 NC).
The fight will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th. For Aldana, this will be her first fight since she lost to Holly Holm in October on Fight Island. Had Aldana won that fight, she might have earned herself a UFC title shot.
Heading into that fight, Aldana had gone 5-1 in her previous six UFC fights. Her best performance inside the octagon came at UFC 245 when she put top contender Ketlen Viera to sleep in the first round.
Aldana has incredible boxing and striking. However, she just couldn’t keep up with Holly Holm who looked better than ever in October. With how Amanda Nunes has dominated the UFC women’s divisions, she’s needing new contenders.
Neither one of these ladies has had a shot at Nunes. If Aldana is able to defeat Kunitskaya and do it impressively, she could be on the short list for Nunes assuming Nunes beats Julianna Pena at UFC 265.
UFC winning streak for Kunitskaya
Yana Kunitskaya had a UFC title opportunity back in 2018. Kunitskaya fought at featherweight and took on Cris Cyborg. Cyborg finished Kunitskaya in the first round and Kunitskaya returned to her natural division of 135 pounds.
Since moving back down to 135, Kunitskaya has gone 4-1. The lone loss came to Aspen Ladd in 2019 when she lost by TKO in the third round. Since then, she’s won back-to-back fights.
The last time we saw her was in February when she took on Ketlen Viera. The fight was pretty close, but a good closing round sealed the deal for Kunitskaya. If she’s able to defeat Aldana at UFC 264, it will be massive for her spot in the division. There is a lot on the line in this bantamweight matchup.