The event’s main event will be a women’s bantamweight title match when it comes to Canada.
In the main event of a UFC 289 card from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, the best female fighter in MMA history will return to the Octagon to defend her 135-pound title.
When she welcomes hard-hitting Irene Aldana (14-6), the reigning two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes (22-5) hopes to make the first defence of her second bantamweight title reign. This is the promotion’s first trip to Canada since a 2019 UFC Fight Night event took place in the same venue.
Let’s take a closer look at the main storylines to watch for as the pay-per-view event this weekend approaches.
1. This is not a PPV-worthy fight card
It simply isn’t, and especially not in comparison to the company’s usual standards. However, UFC 289 just so happens to take place during a mysteriously weak period for matchmaking throughout the entire promotion. Although injuries have frequently forced the cancellation or alteration of potentially compelling matchups on this card, it was never particularly deep or of the highest calibre. The replacement main event, which was required because previous champion Julianna Pena cancelled their scheduled trilogy match versus Nunes, is the sole solace. The new main event resolves the puzzling choice to give Pena another championship shot in the first place, since there was less than zero demand for the fight. Aldana is not only a more dangerous and deserved opponent. The fact that Nunes was so dominant in their July 2016 rematch contributed significantly to the perception that Pena’s 2021 victory was more of an exception (particularly in light of Nunes’ post-fight admission of a serious training camp injury).
2. Does Amanda Nunes still have the eye of the tiger?
It’s a question that will probably accompany Nunes for the rest of her career because she is 35 and still not far removed from losing and winning her 135-pound title. That is the situation where an all-time great boxer continues to compete at the greatest levels while getting older. Due to the significant disparity in technical striking ability between the two, Nunes was able to dominately dictate the terms of the action from a distance in her rematch with Pena. Aldana is a lot more skilled technician than Pena, and he also has the potential to terminate a fight with real power. which Nunes’ opponents haven’t consistently used as a selling point. Most importantly, Aldana is 35 and eager, so her window is now even though she has less mileage than Nunes. Given the likelihood of five intensely competitive rounds, Nunes will need to be adaptable and come prepared. Few historical figures can compare to Nunes’ overall brilliance and threat. However, the distance is narrowing, and Aldana is highly motivated to take a chance.
3. Irene Aldana is next in line as the Mexican MMA takeover continues
What a year it has been for UFC champions who are Mexican-born. The company presently features two Mexican flyweights (Brandon Moreno and Alexa Grasso) who are undisputed champions in the division, as well as an additional champion in the interim featherweight king Yair Rodriguez. It has always seemed inevitable that a love for MMA would ultimately grow in a country with such a strong boxing heritage, and it has never been a secret how much the UFC has been salivating for years at the prospect of developing a breakout star to ignite the fight culture in Mexico.Having as many Mexican-born fighters either as champions or in title contention may be even more beneficial towards the idea of continuous growth over the long term, even though that one face has never completely materialised. Aldana and Grasso are coworkers at the Guadalajara Lobo Gym, a rising star in the world of women’s mixed martial arts.
4. Plenty is riding on the Charles Oliveira-Beneil Dariush lightweight co-feature
There is a lot at stake in terms of the 155-pound title picture, making this fight not only the finest one on the bill in terms of the potential for unrestrained entertainment. The winner will likely face off against the Dustin Poirier-Justin Gaethje rematch on July 29 to determine who would battle Islam Makhachev for the title, but there is also the possibility of validation at stake. Oliveira, 33, is attempting to show that his title loss in 2022, which ended a remarkable 11-fight winning streak, was just a bad day at the office.However, Dariush, 34, has an eight-bout winning streak against fighters like Drew Dober, Tony Ferguson, and Mateusz Gamrot, so this fight has all the makings to be a career-defining contest. Dariush continues to be underappreciated as an exceptional threat. But before battling for the belt, he would probably need to defeat a former champion who set company records for submission victories and overall finishes.
5. Is Nate ‘The Train’ Landwehr just a TV fighter or the real deal?
Tennessee native Landwehr, 34, is bold and has never met a fight he couldn’t transform into a thrilling conflict. Also, he has never encountered a post-fight interview that he couldn’t enthusiastically yell his way through. However, some have questioned if his current three-fight winning streak, which includes two submissions and three end-of-night bonuses, qualifies him for a ranking in the fiercely competitive 145-pound division. Dan Ige, who is ranked No. 13, supplies Landwehr with the ideal opposition in that particular endeavour and provides him with yet another explosive dancing partner.But a win over Ige would also be among Landwehr’s best of his career and would help him further his transformation from a fan-favorite brawler to a calculated threat who isn’t afraid to take chances in order to win thanks to his cunning technical ability.