UFC 289 just lost its main event. Rather than the long-awaited rubber match between Nunes and Peña, it'll be Amanda Nunes vs Irene Aldana.
Despite many thinking that Nunes was going to steamroll Peña when they first met in December of 2021, Juliana scored one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Additionally, she managed to make a great rival for the female GOAT. Nunes got the job done in the rematch, and fans were very excited to see the third fight.
Breaking news………… pic.twitter.com/pNvr9Qo3I2
— danawhite (@danawhite) May 3, 2023
With just about a month to go, Dana White had to break all of our hearts and inform us that Juliana Peña had to pull out due to broken ribs, along with some other bad news about Bryce Mitchell. I know, I know. This sucks. But, we've still got a title fight for the UFC 289 main event. Irene Aldana, who was schedule to take on Raquel Pennington later this month, will step in and fight for the women's bantamweight title.
UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana
This is a very interesting fight; Amanda Nunes is, of course, widely regarded as the best female fighter to live. Her twelve fight winning streak had the world thinking she was invincible, but a brash and ready Juliana Peña said “I've got this.”. And she was right. This was a great performance, but it was Nunes that bounced back and won the rematch. Rather handily, too.
Well, this is MMA, and the injury gods had to remind us that no fight is promised until the referee says “fight”. A fighter having to pull out is always a bummer, especially in a title fight. But, if there's anything that mitigates how big of a bummer this is, it's the fact that Irene Aldana is stepping up to bat.
This has all the makings of a fun fight! Nunes has a well-rounded game, but her heavy hands have been getting the job done for her more often than not. But, her counterpart come UFC 289 has some of the slickest boxing in the division. She has won four of her last five and is currently riding the momentum of two KO/TKO victories in a row. It's not the fight we expected, but it's a fight we can't miss.