‘The Lioness’ Amanda Nunes returned to the Octagon on Saturday night for a bantamweight world title showdown in the UFC 289 main event. Nunes set out to defend her 135-pound crown against No. 5 ranked bantamweight contender Irene Aldana inside the Rogers Center in Vancouver.
Irene Aldana struggled to find any offense in the opening round as Nunes asserted her dominance and peppered her opponent with a variety of strikes. Near the four-minute mark of the first round, Nunes got a little overzealous and moved in allowing Aldana to land a solid right that caused a small cut near Nunes’ left eye. While it was arguably the best strike of the round, Aldana’s lack of activity likely lost her the first five minutes.
Rounds two and three saw ‘The Lioness’ continue to land strikes at will as Aldana simply could not find an opening to unleash her hands. In the third, Nunes, opted to mix it up, using her wrestling skills to forcefully take Aldana to the mat on multiple occasions. Clearly down three rounds at this point, Aldana was strongly encouraged by her corner to move forward and let her hands go. Aldana attempted to do just that in the fourth, but her offense was still stagnant as Nunes looked sharp as ever.
With her victory all, but certain, Amanda Nunes took things to the ground in the opening moments of the fifth round. Nunes kept her opponent’s back pinned to the mat through the final five minutes, putting an exclamation point on an incredibly dominant performance inside the Octagon.
Official Result: Amanda Nunes def. Irene Aldana via unanimous decision (50-44, 50-44, 50-43)
Following the contest, Amanda Nunes laid down both of her UFC championships along with her gloves and officially announced that she will be retiring from the sport of mixed martial arts.