On Saturday, June 10, UFC returns to Vancouver, Canada for UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana, which features the highly anticipated return of women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes. After regaining her throne last July, exacting her revenge over Julianna Pena at UFC 277, Nunes puts her belt on the line against Irene Aldana, a natural born finisher who’s earned a knockout victory in each of her last three wins.
The co-main event features an epic lightweight bout between former 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira and Beneil Dariush. While the fight was originally expected to take place a month earlier at UFC 288, the bout was postponed after Oliveira picked up an injury in training camp. With “Do Bronx” now fully fit, the two will battle for what could be a number one contender spot and a matchup with current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev later this year.
As fight night approaches, here are five reasons why you should tune in to UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana on ESPN+ PPV:
Amanda Nunes Can Tie Anderson Silva With 11 Title Fight Wins
After suffering her first defeat in seven years to Julianna Pena at UFC 269, Amanda Nunes quickly recaptured the title half a year later in emphatic fashion, cementing herself as one of the most dominant champions in UFC history.
Nunes’ reign began 2016, where she submitted Miesha Tate three minutes into the first round to win the bantamweight title. Three successful title defenses later, defeating Ronda Rousey, Valentina Shevchenko and Raquel Pennington, Nunes moved up in weight to challenge women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg. In less than a minute, Nunes finished Cyborg with a flurry of powerful strikes to become a two-division UFC champion.
Amanda Nunes Sits Down With Jon Anik | UFC 289
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Amanda Nunes Sits Down With Jon Anik | UFC 289
While defending both belts, Nunes defeated Holly Holm, Germaine de Randamie, Felicia Spencer and Megan Anderson before her loss to Pena. Now with both belts draped over her shoulders once more, Nunes defends against the hard-hitting Aldana in Vancouver and can tie Anderson Silva with 11 title fight wins and find herself only behind Demetrious Johnson (12), Georges St-Pierre (13) and Jon Jones (15).
Irene Aldana Can Become UFC’s Fourth Mexico-Born Champion Crowned in 2023
In 2021, Brandon Moreno became the UFC first ever Mexico-born champion when he defeated Deiveson Figueiredo to capture flyweight gold at UFC 263. Earlier this year, Yair Rodriguez became the second with a Performance of the Night-earning victory against Josh Emmett to claim interim featherweight gold. Then, a month later, Alexa Grasso shocked mixed martial arts fans around the world by submitting Valentina Shevchenko and becoming the women’s flyweight champion and third Mexico-born champion.
Since Moreno and Rodriguez will both put their belts on the line to close out International Fight Week at UFC 290, and Grasso currently doesn’t have her first title defense scheduled, with a win over Nunes in Vancouver, Aldana can become the fourth Mexico-born champion in the UFC.
Throughout Aldana’s pre-UFC career, she showcased exceptional finishing ability, but it wasn’t until recently that fans got to witness her power inside the Octagon. At UFC 245, Aldana proved to UFC fans that there was dynamite in her hands when she landed a picture-perfect left hook to stop No. 2 contender Ketlen Vieira in round one.
Then, after a hard-fought five rounds with former champion Holm, Aldana put her power on display to finish Yana Santos in the first round. In her last outing, Aldana showed that her power can be generated from anywhere when she finished Macy Chiasson via upkick to the body. Aldana will use all her power to try and stop “The Lioness” in UFC 289’s headliner on June 10.
Charles Oliveira Can Cement His Claim As The Lightweight Division’s Number 1 Contender
Former 155-pound champion Charles Oliveira’s title run was one of the most exciting the UFC has ever seen. A winner of 11 consecutive fights, Oliveira delivered highlight after highlight that included a knockout victory over Michael Chandler and submission victories over Dustin Poirier and Justin Gaethje.
His momentum eventually came to a crashing halt last October when Islam Makhachev ended Oliveira’s win streak with a dominant outing at UFC 280 to claim the vacant lightweight title. Eager to get back a belt that was once his, Oliveira accepted a fight with the surging Beneil Dariush scheduled for UFC 288, but Oliveira was forced out of the contest due to injury, so the bout will now take place as the co-main event at UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana.
On an eight-fight win streak, Dariush has a lot of momentum behind him, so a win for the current No. 1 contender “Do Bronx” could mean a rematch with Makhachev later this year.
Beneil Dariush Can Become Next In Line For Lightweight Title
While there’s many factors for what can warrant a title fight, including wins, health and timing, it’d be hard to deny a healthy Beneil Dariush if he gets past Charles Oliveira at UFC 289. The winner of each of his last eight fights, Dariush continues to show why he’s one of the best 155-pound fighters in the world.
During his four-year unbeaten run, Dariush picked up wins over Drew Dober, Thiago Moises, Tony Ferguson and Diego Ferreira, who just added an epic knockout over Michael Johnson to his resume at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs Hill.
His most impressive win, however, came last time out in October. After recovering from an ankle injury, Dariush stepped in to face rising star Mateusz Gamrot at UFC 280 and showcased excellent striking and takedown defense en route to a unanimous decision victory. No win is as important as one over Oliveira on June 10, however. A ninth straight victory, including one over a former champion in Oliveira, it’d be hard to find a reason why Dariush wouldn’t be on the top of the shortlist of fighters to challenge Islam Makhachev.
The All-Action Nate Landwehr Enters Top 15 Competition
While his UFC career didn’t start according to plan, featherweight Nate Landwehr has surged onto the scene with three consecutive epic performances inside the Octagon. A third-round submission victory over Ludovit Klein kickstarted a series of non-stop entertainment from the Tennessee native that’s left UFC fans wanting more.
Landwehr followed up his submission victory with a show-stopping Fight of the Night against David Onama that saw both fighters stand and brawl for the majority of the contest. The fight received a standing ovation from the San Diego crowd and made Landwehr an immediate fighter to watch out for in the featherweight division.
In March, Landwehr received his third straight win and bonus with a second-round submission victory over Austin Lingo, setting up a bout with his first Top 15 opponent. At UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana, Landwehr challenges hard-hitting Dan Ige, whose latest knockout victory over Damon Jackson is one of his most impressive to date. This bout features on the main card and is absolutely a can’t miss matchup that’s sure to produce fireworks from start to finish.
UFC 289: Nunes vs Aldana took place live from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Canada on June 10, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!