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UFC 289 Nunes v.s Aldana - Preview


(Amanda Nunes, Charles Oliveira, and Irene Aldana. Photographs by: Getty Images and Giuseppe Cacace/AFP via Getty Images)


By: Kevin Thomas


TUCSON, Ariz. -- UFC 289 is headed to the great white north in the promotion's return to Canada for the first time since 2017. The card will be held in the Rogers Arena, in the city of Vancouver, Canada, and will feature a women's bantamweight title bout between Amanda Nunes and Irene Aldana. In addition to a matchup between two of the lightweight division's toughest contenders, Charles "Do Bronxs" Oliveira and Beneil "Benny" Dariush.

The card will also feature five Canadian fighters as well. A list that includes Mike Malott and Marc-Andre Barriault. Surely we will not have a repeat of UFC 288 where the "hometown" Aljamain Sterling was booed after picking up a victory. The Canadian fans have not been treated to a live UFC card in five years and are poised to get loud Saturday night.


The early preliminary card for UFC 289 will begin June 10th at 4 p.m. MST. The preliminary card at 5 p.m. The main card will start at 7 p.m. on ESPN+


Main Card Preview


Nunes v.s. Aldana

In the main event, the greatest female combat athlete of all time and one of four simultaneous two-division champions in UFC history, Amanda "The Lioness" Nunes will defend her bantamweight title against the #5 ranked bantamweight contender, Irene Aldana.

Nunes was supposed to be fighting against her rival, Juliana Pena in their third bout. However, Pena suffered a rib injury and pulled out of the fight because of it. In steps, Irene Aldana faces off against "The Lioness". Nunes is coming off a victory over Pena that saw her regain her bantamweight title.

Aldana trains at Lobo MMA in Mexico alongside women's flyweight champion Alexa Grasso and has knocked out her last two opponents en route to winning 4 of her last 5 bouts.

Aldana is looking to bring another championship to Mexico. If Aldana can get the job done, she will become the fourth active Mexican-born champion. Joining the list that already includes Brandon Moreno, Alexa Grasso, and interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez.

Nunes is entering this fight week with no shortage of confidence. Nunes said during an interview for UFC 289 Countdown, "Aldana, I feel I can finish at any time."

Meanwhile, Aldana, who has been fueled by belief in the work she has done in the gym around other high-level fighters said, "She has been a dominant champion for a long time but I know I can finish the fight and I am ready for the UFC title."


Oliveira v.s. Dariush

UFC 289's co-main event features an exciting number-one contender fight. Two Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts with dangerous striking will face off.

Former champion Charles Oliveira faces off against a surging contender on an 8-fight win streak who has not lost since 2018, Beneil Dariush.


This fight is surely going to be fireworks. Oliveira has been one of the UFC's most high-octane fighters. The Brazilian submission artist holds the UFC record for most finishes and submissions. Coming off of a loss in his most recent performance against current champion Islam Makhachev at UFC 280, Oliveira looks to avenge that submission loss by defeating Dariush.

Meanwhile, Beneil Dariush has been building one of the most impressive resumés in the lightweight division. Dariush's hitlist has included big names like Jim Miller, Drew Dober, Tony Ferguson, and Mateusz Gamerot. "Benny" has waited his turn at the title however, his patience is running closer to empty as the victories pile up.

Dariush told MMAFighting.com, "This time when I was talking to them [the UFC], they said if I beat Charles Oliveira, I am the No. 1 contender. It’s not often they give me their word. This time they did." He continued, "If it’s not so, I’m going to take Justin Gaethje’s advice and possibly riot."


This bout was initially scheduled for UFC 288 but Oliveira suffered a "minor injury" which forced the fight to be moved back to June 10.


Malott v.s. Fugitt

The feature bout on June 10 will feature two up-and-coming welterweights, Mike Malott and Adam Fugitt. Mike Malott is coming off an early, first-round submission victory over Yohan Lainesse. Fugitt is entering this bout after a victory of his own over Yusaku Kinoshita.

The Canadian crowd will likely be supporting the Ontario-born Malott as he seeks a third straight first-round stoppage victory to begin his UFC career. The "Proper" Malott sports a 9-1-1 MMA record and is 2-0 in the UFC.

Malott stated in an interview with James Lynch of LynchOnSports, "Fighting at home, in Canada for the UFC is going to be a massive box checked."


Fugitt is 9-3-0 in MMA and has a record of 1-1 in the UFC. Fugitt is looking to build some momentum with a victory over Canada's Malott. He told LynchOnSports, "This is a huge opportunity, and I can't wait to go and put on a performance, put my best foot forward."

Fugitt went on to summarize why fans should be itching to watch this bout by saying, "We're suited to put on a show up there in Vancouver... We both like to go for the finish, were both in there not holding back. I just think it sets up perfect, a couple of unknown guys for the most part, getting their opportunity on the big stage, in prime time basically, I'm excited."


Preliminary Card

The preliminary card will feature 3 ranked fighters including flyweight, Miranda Maverick. Maverick looks to defend her top 15 ranking against Canadian, Jasmine Jasudavicius.


The preliminary card also features a middleweight bout that easily could have been placed on the main card. Chris Curtis and Nassourdine Imavov will face off in the featured preliminary fight.

Imavov fights out of France and is looking to avenge a loss to the brash Sean Strickland by fighting Strickland's teammate and fellow ranked contender Chris Curtis.

Curtis has had a strange run recently. An odd and emotional loss to Jack Hermansson, a victory over Joaquin Buckley, and a controversial decision loss in the return of Kelvin Gastelum. Curtis is looking to earn a victory and begin a road to consistency in a run that recently has been up and down.

This card was also supposed to feature the light-heavyweight debut of the former heavyweight, Chris Daukaus versus Khalil Roundtree. Daukaus was forced to pull out of the fight reportedly due to injury. The fight is expected to be rescheduled for another night according to MMAFighting.com.




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