UFC 289 went down last night (Sat., June 10, 2023) inside Rogers Center in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which saw Amanda Nunes dominate Irene Aldana for 25 minutes in the main event of the evening to retain her women’s Bantamweight title before announcing her retirement from the fight game (recap). In the co-headlining act, Charles Oliveira scored an emphatic first-round technical knockout win over Beneil Dariush (see it again here).
Biggest Winner: Amanda Nunes
Nunes dominated Aldana for 25 minutes en route to cruising to a unanimous decision win when it seemed as if "Lioness” could have finished Aldana if she put her foot on the gas pedal. But, the “champ-champ” was content with busting up her foe’s face all night long. When she wasn’t doing that, she was taking her down at will. In short, she toyed with her for five rounds. With the win, Nunes secured her sixth defense of her 135-pound strap and announced her retirement after the fight. If it truly is the last time we saw her fight inside the Octagon, she leaves as the greatest female fighter in the sport and she goes out on top as double champion, something that will likely never happen again in UFC. And for that reason she gets the top spot. I guess “Lionheart” wasn’t too far off after all.
Runner Up: Charles Oliveira
After losing his Lightweight title to Islam Makhachev, many wondered just how Oliveira would react in his comeback fight. And it didn’t take long for “Do Bronx” to show that he is still at the top of his game and more motivated than ever by absolutely dominating Dariush from the opening bell en route to scoring a masterpiece of a first round stoppage win. With the victory, Oliveira solidified his spot at the front of the championship race and likely secured himself a rematch against Makhachev, which will be very interesting this time around because “Do Bronx” vows to be at full strength when the time comes.
Biggest Loser: Irene Aldana
Yes, Dariush saw his chance of fighting for a UFC title go out the window, but Aldana gets the nod here because she threw up an absolute dud in her first-ever title fight, failing to offer up any offense whatsoever for 25 minutes of the bout. She did land one good counter strike that briefly rocked “Lioness” in the opening frame, but that was pretty much it. For the rest of the fight Nunes toyed with the Mexican-born fighter and did whatever she wanted with her. Aldana reacted way too much when Nunes feinted, she got taken down at will and she was out-struck. It was a clean sweep. Perhaps the moment was too big for her or Nunes is just levels above her ... or both. She will now have to go back to the drawing board and hope she can work her way up to another shot. If she ever gets back to the big dance again, she can find solace in knowing it won't be against Nunes.
For complete UFC 289 results, coverage, and highlights click HERE.