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Explosive Nunes-Aldana, Oliveira-Dariush bouts slated in UFC 288

Rick Olivares - Philstar.com
Explosive Nunes-Aldana, Oliveira-Dariush bouts slated in UFC 288
Amanda Nunes recently took back the bantamweight belt she lost to Julianna Peña 11 months ago, and this will be her first title defense since winning it back. 
UFC

MANILA, Philippines – This week, the UFC returns to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for UFC 289, with No. 1 women's pound-for-pound and double-division champion Amanda Nunes defending her bantamweight title against No. 5 ranked contender Irene Aldana. 

In a thriller of a co-main event, former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira (33-9-0) collides with highly skilled Beneil Dariush (22-4-1).

Nunes (22-5-0) recently took back the bantamweight belt she lost to Julianna Peña 11 months ago, and this will be her first title defense since winning it back. 

Aldana (14-6-0) is a replacement for Peña, who was unable to complete her own trilogy with Nunes owing to an injury but she will take this opportunity.

The 35-year-old Aldana, who hails from Sinaloa, Mexico, is hoping to be the fourth Mexican to win a UFC title belt this year after Brandon Moreno (flyweight), Yair Rodriguez (featherweight) and Alexa Grasso (flyweight).

After losing to Holly Holm in 2020, Aldana reeled off two consecutive knockout wins against Yana Kunitskaya and Macy Chiasson.

In Nunes, she faces the most dominant force in the bantamweight division for the last eight years.

Dariush is not afraid of going to the canvass against Oliveira. “We don’t need five rounds for a decision. All his wins are within three rounds. He either kills or is killed,” said the Iranian-American who is on an eight-match win streak. 

He carved out three consecutive decision wins — two unanimous — against Mateusz Gamrot, Tony Ferguson and Carlos Diego Ferreira.

Oliveira has not fought since losing the belt to Islam Makhachev in October of 2022. 

In the prelims card, China's Aoriqileng "The Mongolian Murderer" (24-9, fighting out of Shanghai, China) jumps back into action riding a two-fight win streak to face Canada's own Aiemann Zahabi (9-2, fighting out of Montreal, Quebec) in a bantamweight matchup. With seven KOs, Aoriqileng has shown a battering punching style and excellent takedown defense, but don't expect to see this fight play out on the canvas because Zhahabi has five knockouts of his own.

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AMANDA NUñES

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