Irene Aldana

Irene Aldana to replace injured Julianna Pena, will face Amanda Nunes for title at UFC 289

There has been a change in the UFC’s upcoming June PPV main event. Bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes was set to face former champion Julianna Pena in a trilogy rematch between the two, but on Tuesday an injury was forced to change the fight. While announcing Bryce Mitchell withdrawing from this weekend’s UFC 288 event due to injury, UFC President Dana White announced on Tuesday night that Pena had suffered a rib injury that has forced her to withdraw from the title fight and Irene Aldana was named the replacement.

“So, Julianna Pena was taking on Amanda Nunes, June 10th in Vancouver, unfortunately she broke her rib, she can not compete. We have Irene Aldana who’s coming in who won four of her last five and three of those were finishes. We could have another Mexican world champion. Ladies and gentlemen, Saturday, June 10th in Vancouver, Canada, Nunes vs Aldana.

Ranked fifth in the UFC’s bantamweight division, Irene Aldana will get her first chance at UFC gold. As White mentioned, Aldana has won four of her last five fights, picking up wins over Macy Chiasson, Yana Santos, Ketlen Vieira, and Vanessa Melo. Of those three finishes in her last four victories, Aldana finished two of them in the first round.

Having fought for the UFC since 2016, Aldana has only lost twice since 2019 with those losses coming to Raquel Pennington and former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, Holly Holm. If she were to be victorious over Nunes, Aldana would become the fourth Mexican champion in UFC history. The first fighter to become a Mexican champion was flyweight Brandon Moreno, the second was Yair Rodriguez who became the interim featherweight champion at UFC 284 in February, and a month later they were joined by Alexa Grasso who upset Valentina Shevchenko at UFC 285.

As both the reigning bantamweight and featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes will aim for her sixth career title defense of the bantamweight title and has 7 total title defenses, including two of the featherweight title.

Here is the UFC 289 fight card as it is currently scheduled:

  • Amanda Nunes vs Irene Aldana (UFC women’s bantamweight title)
  • Charles Oliveira vs Beneil Dariush
  • Dan Ige vs Nate Landwehr
  • Nassourdine Imavov vs Chris Curtis
  • Jasmine Jasudavicius vs Miranda Maverick
  • Eryk Anders vs Marc-Andre Barriault
  • Diana Belbita vs Maria Oliveira
  • Blake Bilder vs Kyle Nelson
  • Matt Schnell vs David Dvorak
  • Hakeem Dawodu vs Lucas Almeida
  • Aiemann Zahabi vs Aoriqileng
  • Chris Daukaus vs Khalil Rountree
  • Mike Malott vs Adam Fugitt

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