UFC 289 blew the roof off Rogers Center last night (Sat., June 10, 2023) in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, featuring a women’s Bantamweight title fight that saw Amanda Nunes retire on top after dominating Irene Aldana for 25 minutes (full recap here). In the co-main event, Charles Oliveira returned to his dominant winning ways by obliterating Beneil Dariush in the first round (see it again here).
Winner: Amanda Nunes
What Title Fight Is Next At Bantamweight: Pena vs. Pennington for vacant strap
Now that Nunes has opted to walk away from the fight game on top, the rest of the 135-pound division must be thrilled knowing that “Lioness” will no longer be terrorizing the division for years to come. With Pena in line to face Nunes at UFC 289 before a rib injury sidelined her — and Pennington pegged as a backup for Nunes vs. Aldana — it’s logical that this fight be booked as soon as possible to declare a new champion. Pena is ranked No. 1, Pennington — who is on a five-fight win streak — is right behind her at No. 2.
Winner: Charles Oliveira
Who He Should Face Next: Islam Makhachev rematch
UFC President, Dana White, pretty much stated that this fight was a lock after “Do Bronx” ran right through Dariush like a hot knife through butter. Makhachev dethroned Oliveira at UFC 280 in Oct. 2022 (watch it), so the Brazilian bomber is out for revenge, while the current champion wants to silence his doubters once more. That means that the winner of Justin Gaethje vs. Dustin Poirier will have to settle for the “BMF” title ... for now.
Winner: Mike Malott
Who He Should Face Next: A.J. Fletcher
Malott picked up his sixth straight win (third inside the Octagon), submitting Adam Fugitt in round two of their Welterweight bout. I like a matchup against Fletcher next because they pretty much have similar experience inside the eight-walled cage. Both came out of Contender Series, both have three fights under the bright UFC lights, with Fletcher going 1-2. “Ghost” is coming off a big win over Themba Gorimbo this past February, and he is eying his first two-fight win streak inside the Octagon.
Winner: Dan Ige
Who He Should Fight Next: Sodiq Yusuff
Ige is starting to find his groove again after a horrid three-fight losing streak because “50K” has now won two straight after besting Nate Landwehr via unanimous decision. There’s no telling how much of a bump he will get in the rankings, but for now he is firmly cemented at the No. 13 spot. As for Yusuff, he is currently ranked one spot ahead of Ige at No. 12, and is also riding a two-fight win streak. This one is the fight to make.
Winner: Marc-Andre Barriault
Who He Should Face Next: Joseph Pyfer
Barriault earned his second straight win after out-lasting Eryk Anders in a back-and-forth “Fight of the Night”-winning performance. The scrappy Canadian hopes to parlay his increasing momentum to a third straight win, possibly against Joseph Pyfer. “Bodybagz” was recently in action this past April, defeating Gerald Meerschaert via first-round technical knockout. He is on a four-fight win streak and is 2-0 inside the Octagon (all finishes).
For complete UFC 289 results, coverage and highlights click HERE.